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Leicester's Vardy and Mahrez nominated for prestigious Ballon d'Or award

Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez Credit: PA

Jamie Vardy has been nominated for the Ballon d'Or award for best male footballer alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Gareth Bale after helping Leicester win the Premier League title.

The 29-year-old striker, who scored 24 goals in a historic season for the Foxes, was named on a 30-man list of nominees for the prestigious award, which is currently held by Barcelona star Messi.

He's been nominated alongside teammate Riyad Mahrez.

France Football, the sole organisers of the prize given to the best footballer in the world following a split from FIFA, revealed Vardy and Mahrez were in contention in a tweet published on Monday evening.

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Ranieri defends decision to leave out Leicester forward

Ranieri left Vardy on the bench against Crystal Palace. Credit: Reuters

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri insisted Jamie Vardy was rested rather than dropped against Crystal Palace.

The England striker was a substitute for Saturday's 3-1 win over Palace and has now failed to score in his last 10 appearances for club and country.

Vardy, who scored 24 goals in last season's title-winning campaign, came on as a second-half replacement as Ahmed Musa, Shinji Okazaki and Christian Fuchs wrapped up the Foxes' first Premier League victory for over a month.

It was the first time since March 2015 Vardy did not start a Premier League game when available but Ranieri wanted to keep him fresh as the Foxes juggle their Champions League campaign having beaten Copenhagen 1-0 last week.

"It's normal because we have to play so many matches. All the matches are important and when you see Okazaki and Musa in training I have to put them on the pitch," Ranieri said.

"It wasn't (because) of injury, if he was injured he wouldn't have come with me on the bench. I don't know if he needed a rest but if I don't have Shinji, Musa and (Leonardo) Ulloa maybe I have to play him but when you have some good players it's right to have a rest.

"Always I tinker, when we play every few days it's important to choose the right player, this time I left Vardy and (Marc) Albrighton out."


"If we get through we will win the Champions League", says fan after Foxes win

Leicester City beat FC Copenhagen making it three out of three wins so far in their Group G Champions League clash.

Riyad Mahrez scored the only goal of the game, five minutes before half time.

The Foxes are one victory away from qualification for the Champions League knockout phase and fans are optimistic.


Copenhagen fans arrive for Leicester Champions League match

Copenhagen fans arrive for Leicester Champions League match Credit: ITV News Central

Copenhagen fans have started to arrive in Leicester for tonight's Champions League match against Leicester City.

Our reporter James Clark is there for us now:

Manager Claudio Ranieri said the team are 'getting better' and have to be 'solid and strong' for the game tonight. Kick off is at 19:45.

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