Tottenham striker Harry Kane is in the running to become the first Englishman since Michael Owen in 2001 to be crowned the world’s best player after being named on the 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist.
Kane has been in blistering form and his successfully converted penalty for England against Lithuania on Sunday took his goal tally to 43 from 37 games for club and country during 2017.
The 24-year-old is one of six Premier League players, along with Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea, Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane of Liverpool, Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne and N’Golo Kante of Chelsea, to be nominated.
He also joins usual suspects Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi on the list. Ronaldo and Messi have shared the last nine awards, while not since 2007 has someone other than those two claimed the top prize.
Ronaldo beat Messi to win the global award for the best footballer for a fourth time in 2016 and will compete with the likes of Luis Suarez, Gianluigi Buffon, Antoine Griezmann and Robert Lewandowski. The Ballon d’Or winner will be announced in December.