Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane has been shortlisted as one of 30 for the 2017 Ballon d’Or award, given to the world’s best player for the year.
Kane has had his most productive year yet at both club and international level, scoring 43 goals across 37 games at the time of writing. The Tottenham academy graduate is the only Englishman to receive a nomination this year.
Of the 30 nominees, just seven currently represent Premier League clubs. Alongside Kane, Chelsea stars Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante, Liverpool duo Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane, Man United goalkeeper David de Gea and Man City playmaker Kevin de Bruyne make the cut.
Spain’s La Liga has the most players on the shortlist, featuring 11 of the 30, including seven of the Real Madrid starting line-up from the Champions League final against Juventus. Italy’s Serie A has six, France’s Ligue 1 has four, with only three players from the German Bundesliga nominated.
Welsh international Gareth Bale has failed to make the cut following a struggle to find both form and full fitness.
Bale’s Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo is the strong favourite to win the award for a fifth time, retaining it in the process. If he were to do so, Ronaldo would match Lionel Messi’s current record tally.
You’d have to go all the way back to 2007 to locate the last winner of the award who wasn’t either of those two – Kaka defeating both to the prize that year.
Italy veteran Gianluigi Buffon is currently third favourite to win the award after captaining Juventus to Serie A and Coppa Italia successes, along with a Champions League final loss.
At the time of writing, Harry Kane can be backed at 66/1 to win the award with Winner, with Buffon available at 33/1, Messi priced at 14/1 and Ronaldo at 1/40.