Date: 12th December 2016 at 3:54am
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Later this evening, the 2016 winner of the Ballon d’Or will be unveiled by France Football.

The 2016 Ballon d’Or shortlist of 30 players was confirmed back in late October and there are plenty of familiar names on the list.

The competition has been awarded by France Football every year since 1956, but for the past six year’s FIFA had their hands on it but they ended their association last September.

The football magazine continue unabated though and today sees the countdown of the shortlist to the winner from 4.30pm onwards.

The full list:

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City & Argentina)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund & Gabon)
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid & Wales)
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus & Italy)
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City & Belgium)
Paulo Dybala (Juventus & Argentina)
Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid & Uruguay)
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid & France)
Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli/Juventus & Argentina)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain/Manchester United & Sweden)
Andres Iniesta (Barcelona & Spain)
Koke (Atletico Madrid & Spain)
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid & Germany)
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munchen & Poland)
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur & France)
Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City & Algeria)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona & Argentina)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid & Croatia)
Thomas Muller (Bayern Munchen & Germany)
Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munchen & Germany)
Neymar (Barcelona & Brazil)
Dimitri Payet (West Ham & France)
Pepe (Real Madrid & Portugal)
Paul Pogba (Juventus/Manchester United & France)
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid & Spain)
Rui Patricio (Sporting CP & Portugal)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid & Portugal)
Luis Suarez (Barcelona & Uruguay)
Jamie Vardy (Leicester City & England)
Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munchen & Chile)

The seven British winners in previous years were Stanley Matthews at Blackpool in 1956, Denis Law at Manchester United in 1964, Bobby Charlton at Manchester United in 1966, George Best at Manchester United in 1968, Kevin Keegan at Hamburg twice in 1978 and 1979 and Michael Owen at Liverpool in 2001.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi claimed the record fifth award of the trophy in 2015 and it has been he, or Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo since 2008, as the 2007 award went to AC Milan’s Kaka.

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