Neymar, Kane, Modric among first nominees on Ballon d’Or shortlist

The race to dethrone Cristiano Ronaldo is officially on.

The nominees for the 2017 Ballon d’Or are being released, with award organiser France Football revealing the 30-man shortlist in five-player installments throughout the day.

The first batch of superstars was highlighted by one of the few men with a legitimate chance of snatching the throne from Ronaldo: Paris Saint-Germain focal point Neymar.

The first 5 nominees for the 2017 Ballon d’Or France Football : Neymar, Luka Modrić, Paulo Dybala, Marcelo, N’Golo Kanté #ballondor

— France Football (@francefootball) October 9, 2017

The likes of Robert Lewandowski, David De Gea, Harry Kane, and Kevin De Bruyne have also been unveiled as nominees for the coveted golden trophy.

Real Madrid’s Ronaldo, who remains the favourite to capture the prize for a second consecutive year – and record-equalling fifth time overall – was a lock for the honour after finishing the 2016-17 campaign on a tear. His sluggish start to the new season, though, has given renewed hope to some of his competitors. Chief among them is Lionel Messi – the only player to ever win the …read more