Philippe Coutinho named on 30-man shortlist for 2017 Ballon d’Or

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Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho is among 30 players nominated for the prestigious Ballon d’Or award, with the winner revealed later this month.

Coutinho has risen to the fore on Merseyside in recent years, and attracted serious interest from Spanish giants Barcelona over the summer.

The Liga side saw three bids rejected by Liverpool, with their final offer worth £114.2 million, as the Reds held firm over the future of their star No. 10.

Barcelona’s advances for the 25-year-old were certainly warranted, with Coutinho scoring 14 goals and laying on nine assists in 36 games for the Reds last term.

This season, after a late introduction following his attempts to force through a move to the Nou Camp, the Brazilian has hit the ground running, with three goals and an assist in six outings.

He has also shone on the international stage, taking up a key role under Brazil manager Tite alongside Neymar Jr. and Gabriel Jesus.

And Coutinho has joined Neymar on French publication France Football‘s shortlist for the Ballon d’Or award for 2017.

The Reds midfielder was among the second wave of nominees released, along with Luis Suarez, Sergio Ramos, Jan Oblak and Dries Mertens.

Neymar was among the first five announced, as well as Luka Modric, Paulo Dybala, Marcelo and N’Golo Kante.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - Tuesday, September 26, 2017: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia celebrates scoring the first equalising goal during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Spartak Moscow and Liverpool at the Otkrytie Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Coutinho’s remaining 20 rivals for the award will be unveiled throughout Monday, with the ex-Inter Milan youngster joined by Sadio Mane in the fourth wave.

The Ballon d’Or has been dominated by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi over the past decade, with the last winner outside of the legendary duo being Kaka in 2007.

Remarkably, the only Reds representative to win the award since its inception in 1956 is Michael Owen, who fended off Raul and Oliver Kahn in 2001.

Kenny Dalglish came second to Michel Platini in 1983, Steven Gerrard found himself behind Frank Lampard and Ronaldinho in 2005 and, three years later, Fernando Torres was beaten to the honour by Messi and Ronaldo.


Ballon d’Or Nominees, 2017: Neymar Jr. (PSG), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Marcelo (Real Madrid), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Luis Suarez (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Kevin de Bruyne (Man City), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), David de Gea (Man United), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Edin Dzeko (AS Roma), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Radamel Falcao (Monaco), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund), Edinson Cavani (PSG), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Leonardo Bonucci (AC Milan), Isco (Real Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

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