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Joshua Kimmich, Christopher Nkunku, Sadio Mane and Sebastien Haller (l-r) are all in Ballon d'Or contention. - © 2022 DFL
Joshua Kimmich, Christopher Nkunku, Sadio Mane and Sebastien Haller (l-r) are all in Ballon d'Or contention. - © 2022 DFL

Sadio Mane, Joshua Kimmich, Christopher Nkunku and Sebastien Haller on 30-man Ballon d'Or shortlist


Bayern Munich duo Sadio Mane and Joshua Kimmich are among the nominees on the 30-player shortlist for this year's Ballon d'Or award alongside RB Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku and Borussia Dortmund's Sebastien Haller, while fellow Bundesliga stars Manuel Neuer, Jamal Musiala, Jude Bellingham and Karim Adeyemi, among others, are also in the running for separate honours.

The annual Ballon d'Or prize, which this year recognises the best player in the world between the period of August 2021 to July 2022 as per votes cast by coaches and captains of national teams worldwide, is set to be awarded in a ceremony in Paris on Monday 17 October.

Mane's inclusion comes on the back of another top-class season for former club Liverpool, prior to swapping Anfield for the Allianz Arena this summer. The 30-year-old registered 23 goals and five assists in 51 outings for Jürgen Klopp's team in 2021/22, helping them win the FA Cup, the EFL Cup and reach the UEFA Champions League final.

Nkunku's selection is the reward for a sensational campaign for Leipzig in 2021/22. Not only did the 24-year-old become a full France international over the course of a year in which he registered 20 league goals and 13 assists, he was named as the Bundesliga Player of the Season and was given a long-term contract extension at the club.

Kimmich's impact on games cannot be measured in goals and assists – although the 27-year-old still gets plenty of both (three and 11 respectively in the Bundesliga last season).

Watch: Mane spearheading Bayern's new-look attack

Instead, the Germany international is famed for his never-say-die mentality as the driving force in Bayern's midfield, in addition to his superb technical ability and passing range. Kimmich won his seventh Bundesliga title in 2021/22 and has long been a cornerstone for club and country.

Goals are very much the calling card of Haller, who is included for the first time given his prowess in the box for Ajax last season prior to his summer move to Dortmund. The 28-year-old scored in every UEFA Champions League group game - netting 10 times in six outings - and also helped the Amsterdam giants win the Dutch league title. Currently sidelined following a diagnosis with a testicular tumour, Haller is yet to make a competitive appearance for his new club.

The man he was signed to replace at BVB, Erling Haaland, and former Bayern forward Robert Lewandowski are also among the nominees.

Watch: The best of Kimmich in the Bundesliga

Bayern  Manuel Neuer has been nominated for the Yashin Trophy – named in honour of former Dynamo Moscow stopper Lev Yashin – for the World Goalkeeper of the Year gong, a prize he has won on five previous occasions.

Fellow Germany international Kevin Trapp has also been included on the 10-goalkeeper shortlist in recognition of his superb displays in helping Eintracht Frankfurt lift the UEFA Europa League trophy in May.

Meanwhile, Bundesliga players dominate the 10-man shortlist for the Kopa Trophy, which honours the best players under the age of 21.

Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Jamal Musiala (Bayern), Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen), Ryan Gravenberch (Bayern), Karim Adeyemi (Dortmund) and Josko Gvardiol (RB Leipzig) are all in contention, with the former quartet all nominated for the second year in succession.