France Football announced the list of 30 players for the Golden Ball 2016 on Monday morning and the notable exception was Karim Benzema, who was nominated in the last two editions but missing this time, purportedly due to his suspension from Euro selection following the case of the sex tape.
With Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in the frey, Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi are among those nominated again for the 2016 Ballon d’Or football award, reports suggest that neither of them may make it to the top honour this time due to changes made in the selection and voting process for the Golden Ball 2016.
French sports magazine "France Football" said Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre Emerik Aubameyang and long-serving Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon of Juventus were also nominated and the entire list of 35 nominees will be announced later by the editor of France Football.
Five names will be released in each segment throughout the day, with the first five will be announced at 8am and thereafter, at 10am, 2pm, 4pm, 6:15pm and 6:30pm (CEST). The names which have already been made to the list include Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) and the second group on the Ballon d’Or shortlist include Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Paulo Dybala (Juventus),
Diego Godin (Atlético Madrid), Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid) and Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli/Juventus).
The 2016 edition of the Ballon d’Or, 2016, has made a come back to France Football as it was held with FIFA since 2010. The last 8 awards have been won by just two players – Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who will be front runners this year too but unlikely to get the top honour this time. Ronaldo won it twice (2013, ’14) and Messi five times (2009, ’10, ’11, ’12, ’15) and it remains to be seen who bags the coveted award for 2016.
Bereft of FIFA ties, the criteria for the 2016 edition of the Ballon d’Or this year has been made simple and the voting board will comprise only international journalists, not representatives of international football team coaches and captains. Six out of seven editions of the award have been conducted in accordance with FIFA guidelines. The date of the award ceremony for the 61st edition of the Ballon d’Or is not yet announced.