Buffon joins Ballon d’Or nominees

The nominees for the Ballon d’Or continue to emerge, including Gianluigi Buffon, Dries Mertens, Paulo Dybala and Edin Dzeko.

There’s rarely a year when Juventus and Italy captain Buffon isn’t in the running, especially after he was named Champions League goalkeeper of the year for 2016-17.

The shot-stopper turns 40 in January and is widely expected to retire after the 2018 World Cup.

France Football magazine re-took control of the award last year, having previously partnered with FIFA, and Cristiano Ronaldo was given the trophy.

Today the 30-man shortlist for 2017 is being announced in a staggered fashion, with the final list to be completed at 18.15 UK time.

There were already three Serie A stars confirmed on the shortlist, specifically Paulo Dybala of Juventus, Napoli striker Dries Martens and Roma centre-forward Edin Dzeko.

Dzeko was Capocannoniere in the Italian top flight last year, with Mertens just behind, having been converted from a winger.

Dybala helped Juve to reach the Champions League Final and win the domestic double, and he’s started this season with 10 goals in seven Serie A games.

Ballon d’Or nominees: Neymar (PSG), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Marcelo (Real Madrid), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), David De Gea (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Edin Dzeko (Roma), Luis Suarez (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Radamel Falcao (Monaco), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund), Edinson Cavani (PSG), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

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