Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar shortlist for the Ballon d’Or, 2017

Rio Ferdinand believes the endless debate over who should be hailed as the greatest between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo needs to end.

Harry Kane was one of six Premier League players to make the shortlist for the Ballon d’Or, as France Football announced 20 out of 30 nominees for the 2017 award.

Harry Kane was one of six Premier League players to make the shortlist for the Ballon d’Or, as France Football announced 20 out of 30 nominees for the 2017 award on Monday.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the favourite to retain the trophy to equal the record of Lionel Messi. (Source: FIFA)

The Tottenham Hotspur striker was joined in the list by Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane, Manchester United’s David de Gea, Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne.

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo is the favourite to retain the trophy to equal the record of his great rival and five-times winner Lionel Messi of Barcelona.

Extra Cover: 5 Players Who Can Break The Messi-Ronaldo Duopoly

The two players are set to be announced as nominees later on Monday, with France Football opting to stagger out its list. Others nominated included Barcelona striker Luis Suarez, Paris St Germain’s Neymar and Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos.

The Ballon d’Or, which merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year award from 2010-15 to create the FIFA Ballon d’Or, returned to France Football magazine this year having been established in 1956.

Shortlist:

Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)

Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

David de Gea (Man Utd)

Paulo Dybala (Juventus)

Edin Dzeko (Roma)

Harry Kane (Tottenham)

N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Marcelo (Real Madrid)

Dries Mertens (Napoli)

Luka Modric (Real Madrid)

Neymar (PSG)

Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)

Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)

Luis Suarez (Barcelona)

Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)

Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)

Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)

Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

Radamel Falcao (Monaco)

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