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 By Ian Holyman

Ballon d'Or: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi lead list of 30 nominees

Take a look back at Lionel Messi's season that sees him on the 2016 Ballon d'Or shortlist.
The ESPN FC guys discuss the front-runners for the Ballon d'Or, making a case for Luis Suarez to be among the top three.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are set to resume their annual battle for the Ballon d'Or after both were named in the list of 30 nominees for the 2016 award on Monday.

France Football, the magazine that founded most prestigious individual honour in football, released the list in which Real Madrid man Ronaldo, 31, and Barcelona's Messi, 29, both featured. The pair have finished first and second in each of the past five years with Messi edging out his great rival three wins to two, including his...

 By Ben Gladwell

Porto defender Alex Telles open to representing Italy instead of Brazil

After Graziano Pelle was sent home by Italy boss Giampiero Ventura, the FC crew criticise the striker's behaviour.

Porto's Brazilian defender Alex Telles says he would welcome a call from Italy coach Giampiero Ventura, with family ties meaning he is eligible to represent the Azzurri.

Telles, 23, joined Porto in the summer after spending last season on loan at Inter Milan and he is hoping his performances for the Portuguese club can help him catch Ventura's eye.

"I may be Brazilian, but my great grandparents are Italian and I feel Italian," he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "I just have to think about doing a good...

Barcelona scouting Sporting Lisbon's Gelson Martins - Ariedo Braida

Gelson Martins
Gelson Martins made his first-team debut for Sporting Lisbon last year.

Barcelona have sent scouts to Portugal to keep an eye on the progress of Sporting Lisbon winger Gelson Martins.

Gelson, 21, came through the academy at Sporting before making his first-team debut in 2015. He impressed in the Champions League defeat against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu last month and his form this season has earned him a call up to the Portugal squad for the upcoming games against Andorra and Faroe Islands.

Ariedo Braida, Barca's international director of sports, has confirmed he...