Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt, Donny van de Beek, Dusan Tadic, Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum are among the first twenty nominees for the Golden Ball. The French magazine France Football will announce the remaining ten nominees for the prestigious prize for world footballer of the year on Monday evening.
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.
Van Dijk and Wijnaldum won the Champions League with the strong Liverpool, which grabbed just next to the national title in England. With Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané, four more Liverpool players have been nominated for the Golden Ball.
Later on Monday evening, alongside the ten remaining nominees, the contenders for the Golden Ball for women will be announced. 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 Ronaldo completed the top three.
Ronaldo is one of the twenty Golden Ball nominees announced so far. The award ceremony will take place in Paris on Monday 2 December.
Provisional 20 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), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Frenkie de Jong (Ajax / FC Barcelona), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax / Juventus), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Sadio Mané (Liverpool) , Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-Germain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Song Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur), Marc-André ter Stegen (FC Barcelona), Dusan Tadic (Ajax), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)