Eden Hazard named on Ballon d’Or shortlist

Chelsea forward Eden Hazard has been selected on the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or.

The full list of 30 nominees has now been released by France Football for the 2017 Ballon d’Or; we had to wait all the way until the final batch of nominees — they released them in six bathes of five players — to see Eden Hazard’s name. Chelsea thus finish with two nominees, Hazard and Kanté, with perhaps a harsh snub for Premier League Golden Glove-winner, Thibaut Courtois.

Throughout Monday, France Football has been drip-feeding the nominees for the prestigious individual award, with the names being revealed in groups of five. We first found out about Kante in one such list. Thibaut Courtois will be more determined than ever to get a place next season, with another golden glove, that is.

The sixth and final batch includes Blues playmaker Hazard, who played a leading role for Chelsea as Antonio Conte’s side won the Premier League title last season.

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo – the favourite for the accolade – is also included after starring in the Spanish outfit’s La Liga and Champions League triumphs.

French youngster Kylian Mbappe – now at Paris Saint-Germain – is recognised for helping Monaco win Ligue 1 and reach the Champions League semi-finals, as is defender Leonardo Bonucci after impressing for Juventus.

The remaining player is Isco, who has recently emerged as one of Real Madrid’s key men in the final third of the pitch.

Chelsea’s nominations certainly reflect a much better season at Stamford Bridge than the year before, when for the first time since 2011, the Blues did not receive a single nomination.

Other than that yeah, Hazard has now been nominated each year he’s been at Chelsea, though he has yet to finish higher than eighth (in 2015). Chelsea’s best-ever finish in this award was Frank Lampard in 2005, when he finished a distant second to Barcelona’s Ronaldinho.

The full list of 30 nominees are:

Paulo Dybala (Juventus)
N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea)
Marcelo (Real Madrid)
Luka Modrić (Real Madrid)
Neymar (Barcelona, PSG)
Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
Jan Oblak (Atlético Madrid)
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)
Dries Mertens (Napoli)
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
David De Gea (Manchester United)
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
Edin Dzeko (AS Roma)
Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid)
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
Sadio Mané (Liverpool)
Radamel Falcao (AS Monaco)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (BVB)
Edinson Cavani (PSG)
Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus, AC Milan)
Isco (Real Madrid)
Kylian Mbappé (Monaco, PSG)

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