Cristiano Ronaldo, three-time world player of the year is taking on Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale for the Ballon d’Or.
Both players were on the 2016 shortlist, which also featured Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, Borussia Dortmund’s Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Juventus veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
The names of the 30 shortlisted players for the award will be released in batches of five by France Football Magazine, sponsors of Ballon d’Or. Argentina superstar Lionel Messi is expected to be added to the list later.
Ronaldo has set himself up for a fourth win by captaining Portugal to Euro 2016 glory and inspiring Real Madrid to its 11th Champions League victory. He has previously won the Ballon d’Or award in 2008, 2013 and 2014.
One of the players that also made the list is Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann, one of the stars for hosts and has defeated France in Euro 2016, who was one of the finalists.
Journalists will be the ones who will vote to determine the winner. Players (national team captains) and managers are no longer able to have a say after the ending of a five-year deal between France football and FIFA.
Stanley Matthews won the very first Ballon d’Or in 1956 when he was with Blackpool, beating out Alfredo Di Stefano for the inaugural title.
In 2015, the honour was given to the Barcelona and Argentina legend, Lionel Messi. This was his fifth time winning, and is also one of Ronaldo’s arch rival.