Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has this morning been named on the thirty-man shortlist for the 2017 Ballon d’Or award.

The nomination comes following last season’s fantastic title-winning campaign in which Kante received the PFA Player of the Year award for his outstanding contribution. The Frenchman was named as a nominee earlier this morning alongside PSG’s Neymar, Juve’s Paulo Dybala, and Real Madrid duo Luka Modric and Marcelo. The thirty-man list is being gradually announced throughout today by the @FranceFootball Twitter account, with groups of five players being revealed every few hours.

Though the award will almost certainly be won by either Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi as it has been annually since 2008, Kante’s nomination is an impressive feat and undoubtedly deserved following his fantastic debut season at Stamford Bridge.

https://twitter.com/BreatheChels/status/856262341905788930

It remains to be seen whether or not Kante will be the only Chelsea player to receive a nomination due to the gradual nature of the announcement, though Eden Hazard is perhaps the only other likely contender. Luis Suarez (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid), Phillipe Coutinho (Liverpool) and Dries Mertens (Napoli) have each been recognised in the second and latest batch of nominees at the time of writing, with the tweet below showing the times at which the other nominees will be revealed (CEST).

Following another Champions League win in May, Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to pip Lionel Messi to the award for the second year running. Should that be the case, the Portuguese forward will equal the Barcelona legend’s tally of five Ballon d’Or wins.