Buffon joins Ballon d'Or nominees

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Brazilian superstar, Neymar, Chelsea midfielder, N'golo Kante and Real Madrid defender, Marcelo are among the first batch f nominees released for the 2017 Ballon d'Or award.

Final nominees revealed are Cristiano Ronaldo, Eden Hazard, Leonardo Bonucci, Isco, Kylian Mbappé. Cristiano Ronaldo is the big favourite to defend his crown - and match Lionel Messi's five trophies.

The Liverpool forward is in competition with Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar who is said to be leading the list.

The France international's nomination was published by France Football magazine as part of a day of announcements that will see all 30 potential winners on the shortlist revealed.

The prestigious award, which was aligned with Federation Internationale de Football Association from 2010 to 2015, has been won by either Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi for the past nine years.

Following an adjustment to the rules a year ago, France Football, owners of the Ballon d'Or, will drop the full 30-man list in batches of five across the day. France Football has opted to stagger out the nominees throughout yesterday, with Liverpool's Coutinho among the first 10 players to be announced.

Sergio Ramos made it three players from Real Madrid of the ten named so far, while Atletico Madrid keeper Jan Oblak and Dries Mertens of Napoli were also on the list.

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