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 By Ian Holyman

Ballon d'Or: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi lead list of 30 nominees

Take a look back at Lionel Messi's season that sees him on the 2016 Ballon d'Or shortlist.
The ESPN FC guys discuss the front-runners for the Ballon d'Or, making a case for Luis Suarez to be among the top three.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are set to resume their annual battle for the Ballon d'Or after both were named in the list of 30 nominees for the 2016 award on Monday.

France Football, the magazine that founded most prestigious individual honour in football, released the list in which Real Madrid man Ronaldo, 31, and Barcelona's Messi, 29, both featured. The pair have finished first and second in each of the past five years with Messi edging out his great rival three wins to two, including his...

 By Mark Lovell

Renato Sanches beats Marcus Rashford to Golden Boy prize

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno and Ross Dyer ponder where Renato Sanches' career will go after winning the Golden Boy Award.

Portugal midfielder Renato Sanches has won the 2016 Golden Boy award ahead of Manchester United's Marcus Rashford and Bayern Munich teammate Kingsley Coman.

Bayern signed Sanches on a five-year deal from Benfica in May for €35 million plus add-ons before the 19-year-old caught the eye with a series of scintillating performances for Portugal at Euro 2016.

Sanches beat off strong competition from United's rising star Rashford and France winger Coman for the prestigious Golden Boy prize, which...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Cristiano Ronaldo injury helped Portugal win Euro 2016 - Eric Abidal

Cristiano Ronaldo's latest Instagram pose sends Twitter in a frenzy, and Hugo Lloris is part octopus in The Sweeper.

Portugal benefited from Cristiano Ronaldo's injury during the European Championship final this summer, says former France international Eric Abidal.

Ronaldo went down with a knee issue early in the match, leaving his Portugal teammates without their captain and star player against hosts France. However, Fabio Santos' men managed to overcome the absence and win the match through an Eder strike in extra-time.

And Abidal says Ronaldo's exit relieved the team of having to play a supporting role for...