Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt, Donny van de Beek, Dusan Tadic and Georginio Wijnaldum are among the first fifteen nominees for the Golden Ball. The French magazine France Football will announce the remaining fifteen nominees for the prestigious prize for world footballer of the year on Monday evening every five.
De Jong, De Ligt, Van de Beek and Tadic receive recognition for their strong season at Ajax, with which they reached the semi-finals of the Champions League. Moreover, the national title and the cup were taken. De Ligt (Juventus) and De Jong (FC Barcelona) deserved a transfer, while Van de Beek and Tadic Ajax remained loyal.
Wijnaldum won the Champions League with Liverpool and grabbed just next to the English league title. With Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mané, three more Liverpool players have been nominated for the Golden Ball and it is expected that at least Virgil van Dijk will be added.
The contenders for the Golden Ball for women will also be announced later on Monday evening. That shortlist consists of twenty players. There are also ten nominations for the titles best player under 21 and best keeper.
Last year the men's Golden Ball went to Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric, who broke the hegemony of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Among the women was the prestigious prize for Ada Hegerberg from Olympique Lyon.
Price is independent of FIFA election
The Golden Ball election has been separate from the FIFA prize for world footballer of the year since 2016, which was awarded to FC Barcelona star player Messi in September. In previous years there was a combined election of France Football and FIFA.
In the FIFA election, Orange captain Van Dijk was among the last three nominees last month. He finished second. Juventus-star Cristiano Ronaldo completed the top three.
Provisional 15 Golden Ball nominees: Sergio Agüero (Manchester City), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Alisson (Liverpool), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal), Donny van de Beek (Ajax), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Frenkie de Jong (Ajax / FC Barcelona), Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax / Juventus), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Sadio Mané (Liverpool), Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-Germain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Marc-André ter Stegen (FC Barcelona), Dusan Tadic (Ajax), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)