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Leicester pair named alongside world's best players on Ballon d'Or shortlist

Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have been included on the 30-man list.

Vardy and Mahrez are both included.
Vardy and Mahrez are both included.
Image: Rui Vieira

Updated at 18.30

FIVE-TIME WINNER Lionel Messi and Barcelona team-mates Neymar and Luis Suarez are among 30-man shortlist announced by France Football for this year’s Ballon d’Or.

29-year-old forward Messi helped Barcelona to a domestic double in Spain this season but missed out on Copa America Centenario glory with Argentina, while rival Cristiano Ronaldo’s success in the Champions League with Real Madrid and at Euro 2016 with Portugal has established him as favourite to usurp Messi this time around.

Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy enjoy their first nominations, having inspired Leicester City to a remarkable Premier League title triumph with displays that secured the Algerian international the PFA Player of the Year award in England.

Tottenham and France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is included despite a season of near misses at club and international level last season, while Manchester United stopper David De Gea misses out.

His team-mates Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba feature, however, as does West Ham and France attacker Dimitri Payet.

Thomas Mueller is shortlisted for the sixth time in seven years after Bayern Munich continued their dominance of German football and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric is the latest of Real Madrid’s Champions League winners to be recognised.

The shortlist for the Ballon d’Or – which is back under the sole auspice of France Football this year following a split with Fifa – was revealed in alphabetical five-man groups throughout the day.

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

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