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HAZARD AND KANTE MAKE BALLON D’OR SHORTLIST

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Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante have been recognised for an outstanding year by being nominated for the Ballon d’Or.

The duo were in the third group of players revealed for the prestigious award, which is now run by France Football magazine having been aligned with FIFA from 2010 to 2015. It is judged solely by a panel of journalists and in total the shortlist numbers 30 players.

Both players were also recently voted into the FIFA FIFPro World XI at The Best FIFA Football awards.

Hazard and Kante were integral members of our FA Cup-winning team, both winning that particular trophy for the first time in their careers back in May, and they then went on to enjoy fantastic World Cups. Kante started every game for World Cup winners France, while Hazard scored three goals as Belgium picked up the bronze medal. He was named the tournament’s second-best player at its conclusion.

Blues supporters voted Kante their Chelsea Player of the Year for his efforts last season, and Hazard struck 17 times including the Cup final winner. He has started this season in electric form and has eight goals to his name already.

The Belgian has earlier been named on the shortlist in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017. He finished 19th in the last of those votes. It is the third consecutive year Kante has been nominated. He was eighth last year.

Our former goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is also on the shortlist.

No one has won the Ballon d’Or award as a Chelsea player, but former Blues Andriy Shevchenko (2004), George Weah (1995) and Ruud Gullit (1987) were all winners while with AC Milan.

Frank Lampard has the best showing by a player while at Chelsea. He finished second in 2005. Drogba was fourth in the 2007 awards. The award was initiated in 1956 when Stanley Matthews was victorious.

This year’s winner will be revealed on December 3.

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