A contender list for the 2016 Balon d’Or has apparently been leaked online (via Metro) and shows a few startling additions.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane, Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina, Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney have all made the list, but strangely are joined by the likes of Christian Atsu of Bournemouth, Swindon’s Massimo Luongo and Leicester striker Shinji Okazaki.
All of the usual suspects are there, too, with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Eden Hazard all included, with the list set to be whittled down to 23 in time for January when a winner will be announced.
However, a report in Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo claims that Tottenham’s Harry Kane will have the chance to put an end to the recent dominance of Ronaldo and Messi after enjoying a standout break through season last term.
While that would be great to see, it would seem an unlikely possibility, but what is more confusing is why a player like Christian Atsu is included. The Ghanian only managed a total of 13 appearances while on loan with Everton last season and is so far struggling to establish himself within Bournemouth starting XI.
See the full list below…