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Ballon d’Or shortlist announced: Mahrez, Vardy among 30 nominees

West Bromwich Albion v Leicester City - Premier League

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - APRIL 11: Jamie Vardy of Leicester City (R) with Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City (L) celebrates scoring the third goal with team mates during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City at The Hawthorns on April 11, 2015 in West Bromwich, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

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The shortlist for the 2016 Ballon d’Or has been announced.

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With FIFA ending its association with the award, French outlet France Football will now be naming the shortlist of 30 players who can be crowned the best player on the planet.

On Monday it has begun to release the shortlist in two batches of five names being announced every two hours.

Leicester City duo Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy capped off an incredible 2016 as the Premier League champions were named in the 30-man shortlist.

Manchester City duo Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne were both include, as were Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba plus West Ham’s Dimitri Payet and Tottenham Hotspur’s Hugo Lloris also made up the Premier League contingent.

Six Real Madrid players were included with Sergio Ramos, Luke Modric, Pepe, Toni Kroos, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo nominated. Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar were also included.

Rui Patricio of Sporting Lisbon made the list after his heroics this summer, while Atletico Madrid’s Koke, Diego Godin and Antoine Griezmann, plus Gianluigi Buffon, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala from Juventus were all included. Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bayern Munich quartet Arturo Vidal, Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller and Manuel Neuer were the reps from the Bundesliga.

Here are the 30 nominees for the award.

Shortlist for 2016 Ballon d’Or

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus), Koke (Atletico Madrid) Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Neymar (Barcelona), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Dimitri Payet (West Ham United), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Pepe (Real Madrid), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich), Luis Suarez (Barcelona)

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