The shortlist for the 2018 Ballon d’Or award is being gradually announced, with half of the nominees know known.
Being the roguish little teases they are, France Football have been drip-dripping their list in five-player increments over the course of the afternoon, with 15 names let out of the bag so far.
Here are the nominees, in the precise order in which they’ve been revealed thus far…
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Pablo Dybala (Juventus)
Marcelo (Real Madrid)
N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)
Dries Mertens (Napoli)
Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
David De Gea (Manchester United)
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Edin Dzeko (Roma)
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
Radamel Falcao (Monaco)
(…to be continued)
A pair of shouts for Liverpool is faintly impressive, though only until you realise neither Coutinho or Mane will end up anywhere near to the podium.
The last 10 names are scheduled to be unveiled at 18:35 and 19:15 (central European time).
We’ll keep you posted, but we think Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo may just be in there somewhere.