RB Leipzig striker Christopher Nkunku has been named on the shortlist for the Ballon d’Or – just months after Rangers broke the striker’s heart in the Europa League.

Heading into the Europa League semi-final between Rangers and the Bundesliga outfit all the talk surrounded the freescoring French international forward, who netted 32 goals and laid on 20 assists in 51 games last season.

Rangers v RB Leipzig: Semi Final Leg Two - UEFA Europa League
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But despite scoring in the Ibrox leg of the clash, Christopher Nkunku was powerless to resist as Rangers beat RB Leipzig 3-1 and made history in Glasgow. The ex-PSG man also missed a gilt-edged chance in the first leg.

If anything, the fact the striker has made the 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist highlights just how talented a player the Gers had to overcome to reach the competition’s final in Seville.

Last season there was also plenty of talk surrounding the 25-year-old striker’s future, with links aplenty to the likes of Man United amid talk of a £51m release clause.

However, Christopher Nkunku put an end to speculation surrounding his immediate future this summer when he signed a new deal with the club which ties him to RB Leipzig until 2026.

Christopher Nkunku earns Ballon d’Or nomination despite Rangers heartbreak

Nkunku certainly isn’t the favourite to lift the Ballon d’Or this year but it’s telling his contribution to the Bundesliga club has him in the top 30 players on planet earth.

There are plenty more recognisable names on the list too, but Lionel Messi (PSG) has been snubbed after a disappointing first year in France even if Cristiano Ronaldo (Man United) was included.

The likes of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, who visited Rangers with Spurs in a pre-season friendly, are on the list alongside the likes of Erling Haaland (Man City) and Kylian Mbappe (PSG).

Former winner Luka Modric (Real Madrid) is included, as is Sadio Mane (Bayern), Mo Salah (Liverpool) and Bernardo Silva (Man City).

Real Madrid CF v Eintracht Frankfurt - UEFA Super Cup Final 2022
Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

See the 30 players who made the cut and find out more about the Ballon d’Or award via organisers France Football HERE or read the list in English via Eurosport.

The favourite to lift the Ballon d’Or this year also appears to be Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who has aged like fine French wine and guided the Madridistas to a Champions League and La Liga double last season.

The striker was also right in the thick of it as the Spanish giants exacted a semblance of revenge on Eintracht Frankfurt on Rangers’ behalf.

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