Paris - Three-time world player of the year Cristiano
Ronaldo will have to take on Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale for the Ballon d'Or.
Both were on the 2016 shortlist announced Monday which also
featured Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, Borussia Dortmund's Gabon striker
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Juventus veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
Ballon d'Or sponsors France Football magazine are releasing
the names of the 30 shortlisted players in batches of five over the course of
Monday. Argentine superstar Lionel Messi was expected to be added later.
Ronaldo, who won the award in 2008 and 2013-14, set himself
up for a fourth Ballon d'Or when captaining Portugal to Euro 2016 glory and
inspiring Real Madrid to an 11th Champions League triumph.
Also read: Ronaldo and Zidane at peace, but Madrid still not winning
Another player to make the list is Atletico Madrid's Antoine
Griezmann, one of the stars for hosts and beaten finalists France at Euro 2016.
The winner will be will be determined by a vote of
journalists - players (national team captains) and managers will no longer have
a say after the ending of a five-year deal between France football and FIFA.
The first Ballon d'Or was won by Stanley Matthews, at the
time with Blackpool, who beat Alfredo Di Stefano for the inaugural title in
Last year's honour went to Ronaldo's arch rival Messi, the
Barcelona and Argentina legend winning it for the fifth time.For
the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us
on Twitter and like our Facebook page.