Half of 2021 men’s longlist are first-time nominees

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After a COVID-19-enforced hiatus in 2020, the Ballon d’Or has returned for 2021 with the recent release of the nominations for this year’s awards for the world’s best male and female footballers.

Along with the usual suspects among the 30-strong longlist of nominees for the men’s award such as previous winners Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric, no fewer than 15 are in contention for the first time in their careers:

Cesar Azpilicueta (Spain/Chelsea)
Nicolo Barella (Italy/Inter Milan)
Giorgio Chiellini (Italy/Juventus)
Ruben Dias (Portugal/Manchester City)
Gianluigi Donnarumma (Italy/Paris Saint-Germain)
Bruno Fernandes (Portugal/Manchester United)
Phil Foden (England/Manchester City)
Erling Haaland (Norway/Borussia Dortmund)
Jorginho (Italy/Chelsea)
Simon Kjaer (Denmark/AC Milan)
Romelu Lukaku (Belgium/Chelsea)
Lautaro Martinez (Argentina/Inter Milan)
Gerard Moreno (Spain/Villarreal)
Mason Mount (England/Chelsea)
Pedri (Spain/Barcelona)

Some of these players look destined to become regulars among the Ballon d’Or nominees for years to come, for others this could prove to be a career high point. In the past, some have failed to flourish after receiving the illustrious nod, while others have maintained their high standard without receiving any further acknowledgement. Here’s a look at some of the most notable one-time nominees for the men’s Ballon d’Or since 2010.

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Out of favour and on the fringes, it’s difficult not to feel a degree of sympathy for Van de Beek as he continues to dolefully watch on from the sidelines at Manchester United. It’s perhaps all too easily forgotten that Van de Beek was included on the 30-player longlist for the men’s Ballon d’Or in November 2019. He was one of the most coveted young midfielders in Europe after playing a pivotal role in…



Source : espn

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