The names of the 30 players who have been shortlisted for the Ballon d'Or 2021 award were published on Friday (October 8) by France Football magazine. There was speculation that they might give two awards this year, given the fact that the previous year's ceremony was canceled because of the Covid-19 epidemic. However, France football has only published the names of the nominees for this year's award. All the expected names have been selected for the award. Argentina's Lionel Messi leads the latest poll to win the trophy for the record seventh time. Let's take a look at the 2021 Ballon d'Or nominees.
The Ballon d'Or 2021 Candidates
Here are the players that have been shortlisted for the Ballon d'Or 2021 award by France football. Italy have a maximum of five players, followed by England with four, France, Spain, and Portugal with three, Argentina and Belgium with two, and Norway, Denmark, Algeria, Croatia, Egypt, Uruguay, Poland, and Brazil with one each.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (PSG & Italy)
Italian goalkeeper Donnarumma is the only goalkeeper in the list. He played a pivotal role in Italy’s EURO 2020 win.
Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea & Spain)
Spanish defender Azpilicueta won the Champions League with English side Chelsea.
Ruben Dias (Manchester City & Portugal)
Defender Ruben Dias was named Premier League’s player of the season 2020-2021.
Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus & Italy)
Bonucci won EURO 2020 with Italy earlier this July.
Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus & Italy)
Juventus and Italian Captain Giorgio Chiellini was the heart of Italy’s defense that won the EURO 2020.
Simon Kjær (AC Milan & Denmark)
Danish defender Simon Kjær had a terrific season with both AC Milan and Denmark.
Jorginho (Chelsea & Italy)
Playmaker Jorginho won two of the biggest trophies this summer. He helped Chelsea to win the Champions League 2021 and also played an important role for Italy to win UEFA European Championship 2020.
Pedri (Barcelona & Spain)
Barcelona’s young midfielder Pedri had an outstanding season with both club and country.
Luka Modric (Real Madrid & Croatia)
Croatian midfielder Luka Modric played his part with Real Marid and earned a place in the 30-man shortlist for Ballon d'Or 2021 award.
Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City & Belgium)
Belgium midfielder Kevin was one of the star players for Manchester City last season and won the Premier League with the Citizens.
Phil Foden (Manchester City & England)
Foden is an excellent talent. This attacking midfielder showed his true class with both Manchester City and England in EURO 2020.
N'Golo Kante (Chelsea & France)
Kante was so instrumental in Chelsea’s Champions League triumph last May.
Mason Mount (Chelsea & England)
Mount is a young promising playmaker. He won the Champions League with Chelsea.
Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan & Italy)
Barella won Serie A with Inter Milan and EURO 2020 with Italy's national side.
Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United & Portugal)
Bruno was the best performer for Manchester United in the 2020/2021 season.
Lionel Messi (PSG & Argentina)
Messi finally won a trophy with the Argentina national side. He won Copa America 2021 and also won Copa del Rey with FC Barcelona.
Neymar (PSG & Brazil)
On an individual level, Neymar had a decent season with PSG.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United & Portugal)
Ronaldo was the top scorer in the 2020-2021 Italian Serie A season. He has been the top performer for Manchester United in the current season.
Kylian Mbappe (PSG & France)
Mbappe played well for both club and country and deservedly earned a place in the top 30 list.
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich & Poland)
Bayern Munich striker broke several records in the 2020/2021 Bundesliga season.
Erling Haaland( (Borussia Dortmund & Norway)
Haaland was brilliant with Borussia Dortmund last season. He is an excellent finisher.
Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan & Argentina)
Martinez helped Inter Milan to win Serie A for the first time in 10 years. He also played an important role in Argentina’s Copa America 2021 victory.
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool & Egypt)
Salah was the top performer for Liverpool in the 2020/2021 season.
Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea & Belgium)
Lukaku inspired Inter Milan to win Serie A last season.
Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City & Algeria)
The Algerian forward won the Premier League with Manchester City.
Harry Kane (Tottenham & England)
Kane was the top scorer in the 2020/2021 Premier League season.
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid & France)
Benzema was the most consistent performer for Real Madrid in the 2020/2021 season. Karim has been playing well for France since making his comeback earlier this year.
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City & England)
Sterling had a stellar tournament with England in EURO 2020. With Manchester City, he also won the Premier League.
The Chatelet Theatre in Paris will host the Ballon d'Or 2021 award ceremony on November 29. This year, there is no obvious favorite because a notable number of players are deserving of the honor. Therefore, panelists will have to consider a variety of factors before voting for a nominee. Individual performance (goals and assists), as well as silverware, are two important factors to take into account. Even though Lionel Messi is often considered the favorite to win the 2021 edition, Jorginho, Lewandowski, Kante, or Benzema cannot be ruled out.