The 30-name shortlist for the 2017 Ballon d’Or was announced last week as football prepares to honour those who starred in the past year.
Tottenham Hotspur star Harry Kane was deservedly included on the list having scored 43 times in 37 appearances for club and country, as were Kevin de Bruyne, Philippe Coutinho and Eden Hazard.
It caps off a wonderful year for Kane, who spoke about taking the next step back in June.
"I want to be in that world-class bracket,” the England international said. "I am not there yet. Part of it is proving that on an international stage.
"Club level, I have had a good few seasons but to take that next step it is international football - in the big games, in big moments.
“I am 23 (he’s since turned 24) and hopefully have quite a few years ahead of me to learn and get better."
Kane joined the world-class bracket when he scored 13 goals in September.
Yet despite the excitement surrounding Kane, and Paris Saint-Germain’s 18-year-old starlet Kylian Mbappe, who is also up for the Ballon d’Or, the award will go to one of two players.
Ronaldo and Messi have shared the award every year since 2008 and it will be no different this time around, with both players enjoying incredible seasons for Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.
Ronaldo won the La Liga title and the Champions League with Los Blancos; Messi sent Argentina to the World Cup with a stunning hat-trick last week, taking his tally for the year to 49 goals in 50 appearances.
Sergio Ramos named his top 5 picks
The Portuguese is the heavy favourite to take the prize - he’s 1/33 with Sky Bet to add a fifth Ballon d’Or - and it’s not at all surprising that he has Sergio Ramos’ backing.
The Real defender, who was also nominated, has named his top five picks for the 2017 award, and his five names would make for an incredible five-a-side team.
Ramos’ top five picks:
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
2. Lionel Messi
3. Luka Modric
5. Gianluigi Buffon
Buffon would have done his chances of becoming the first goalkeeper to win the Ballon d’Or since Lev Yashin in 1963 no harm had be beaten Ronaldo and Los Blancos in the Champions League final.
But Ronaldo chose that night in Cardiff to secure his fifth Ballon d’Or, tying Messi’s record.
Will Ronaldo win the 2017 Ballon d'Or? Let us know in the comments section below!
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