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Ballon d’Or: Gareth Bale among first names on 30-man shortlist

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Euro 2016: Gareth Bale’s three goals for Wales

Wales forward Gareth Bale and Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo are on the shortlist for the 2016 Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best player.

Sergio Aguero, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Gianluigi Buffon have also been named on the list.

France Football magazine is revealing the 30-man shortlist in bunches of five players every two hours throughout Monday.

Fifa ended its association with the award last month.

Ballon d’Or debate and reaction: Sportsday

The award has been given by France Football every year since 1956, but for the past six years it became the Fifa Ballon d’Or in association with world football’s governing body.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi won the award last year for a record fifth time.

The last time a player other than Messi or Ronaldo won was in 2007, when then AC Milan playmaker Kaka took the honour.

Five Premier League players – Manchester City trio Yaya Toure, Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne, Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard – made a 23-man shortlist last year, with Bale the only British player on the list.

Manchester United duo Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were also included last time for their performances with Juventus and Paris St-Germain.

The shortlist has traditionally been trimmed to three before the awards evening in January.

2016 Ballon d’Or shortlist

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

25 more players to be announced throughout Monday. Next batch at 09:00 BST.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37748717