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Three Atletico Madrid players on the Ballon d’Or shortlist

Atletico have a defender, a midfielder and an attacker on the 30-man shortlist for European football’s biggest individual award

Sevilla FC v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

(We will update this as they continue to announce the nominees)

Atletico Madrid are well represented on the Balon d’Or shortlist as no less than three rojiblanco players have been named among the world’s best.

FIFA have decided to name the players who made the cut in groups of five and Koke, Diego Godin and Antoine Griezmann are all on the list.

Widely regarded as the best central defender on the planet, Godin has been named in the UEFA Team of the Year in 2014 but has never been nominated for the Balon d’Or until this year.

Koke is another player who has long been touted as a perennial nominee but has failed to make an impact on voters until this year. At 24, Koke is entering an important period of his career and this nomination will surely instil even further confidence in the central midfielder.

We have covered Antoine Griezmann’s rise to the top of world football sufficiently on this blog and frequently impart out admiration for the player at Into The Calderon. He won the player of the tournament at the recent European Championships in France along with nabbing the top goalscoring award there too. He is in excellent form for Atletico and will continue to improve. He will be one of the players expected to fight Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the top prize.

So far, the names on the shortlist are:

  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG/Manchester United)
  • Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona)
  • Koke (Atletico Madrid)
  • Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
  • Robert Lewandowski (Bayern)
  • Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund)
  • Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)
  • Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
  • Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
  • Paulo Dybala (Juventus)
  • Diego Godin (Atlético Madrid)
  • Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid)
  • Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli/Juventus)
  • Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur)
  • Riyad Mahrez(Leicester City)
  • Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
  • Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
  • Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)
  • Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich
  • Neymar (Barcelona)
  • Dimitri Payet (West Ham United)
  • Pepe (Real Madrid)
  • Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
  • Rui Patricio (Sporting Portugal)
  • Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
  • Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
  • Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
  • Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich)