France Football will announce the winner of this year’s Ballon d’Or in Paris on Monday night, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi once again expected to battle it out for the award.
Ronaldo is favourite to claim what would be his fourth Ballon d’Or title after leaked pictures appeared the show the Real Madrid star posing with the award on the cover of France Football.
Messi will be hoping to secure a record sixth individual title, while his Barcelona team-mate, Luis Suarez, is also in contention after scoring 59 goals in 53 games for the Catalan club last season.
Antoine Griezmann is the only player outside of the two Clasico clubs expected to challenge for the award after an outstanding year for both Atletico Madrid and France.
No 13: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the second Red Devils player to make the list, after Paul Pogba.
Zlatan helped Paris Saint-Germain to the French title last season before joining Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford this summer
The former Sweden international has now finished in the top 20 of Ballon d’Or voting on 11 occasions with his best finish coming back in 2013 when he came fourth.
Cristiano Ronaldo remains the strong favourite to win the Ballon d’Or after helping both Real Madrid and Portugal to major silverware this year.
Ronaldo is set to go head-to-head with Lionel Messi for the award of European football’s finest player, though a leaked image from France Football magazine suggests the decision has already been made.
What is claimed to be the cover of the bi-weekly publication appears to show a suited-and-booted Ronaldo, evidently overjoyed while clutching the prestigious award.
Pogba’s former team-mate at Juventus, Arturo Vidal, has also finished in 14th place after winning four voting points.
The tenacious midfielder helped Chile claim their second consecutive Copa America title earlier this year.
No 14: Paul Pogba
The most expensive player in the history of football, Paul Pogba, has come in joint 14th place after receiving four voting points.
The Manchester United midfielder, who has enjoyed a rocky start to life back at Old Trafford, impressed while at Juventus last season and helped France finish as runners-up at Euro 2016.
He finished 15th in last year’s awards and will be no doubt targeting a top 10 finish when they come round again next year.
This year’s Ballon d’Or will be awarded by respected sports journalists from across Europe.
Each journalist will pick their top three players in order of preference, where first pick get five points, second pick three points and the third gets one point.
No 16: Robert Lewandowski
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski is next on the list, having been awarded three points by the journalists awarding this year’s Ballon d’Or.
The Poland international scored 42 goals in 51 appearances for his club last season as Bayern claimed both the Bundesliga title and the German Cup.
The third player to be named in joint 17th place is West Ham winger Dimitri Payet.
The 29-year-old has enjoyed a sensational year for club and country and helped guide host nation France to the final of Euro 2016, where they suffered heartbreak against Portugal.
He has developed a reputation for spectacular free-kicks and continued that trend with a set-piece goal against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.
No 17: Luka Modric
Kroos’ Real Madrid team-mate Luka Modric has also been announced in 17th with one vote.
The 31-year-old has become an integral part of Madrid’s midfielder since joining the club from Tottenham back in 2012.
He also captained his country, Croatia, at Euro 2016 where Ante Cacic’s side finished top of their group ahead of Spain.
Croatia were knocked out of the tournament by eventual winners Portugal.
France Football will announce each player from their original 30-man shortlist in ascending order based on the number of votes awarded to them.
Real Madrid and Germany midfielder Toni Kroos has already been announced in 17th place with just one vote.
11 players on the original shortlist have not received a single vote and will not be classified. Their identities are being withheld at the moment and will be revealed later on this evening.
As previously stated, this year’s ceremony is a change from previous years with the Ballon d’Or no longer associated with FIFA.
Instead, FIFA will announce their own Player of the Year in January.