Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were among the standout names on the 30-man shortlist for the 2017 Ballon d'Or released by France Football on Monday (Tuesday AEDT).
Real Madrid star Ronaldo and his Barcelona rival Messi have shared the past nine awards, the latter becoming the first man to win it on five occasions in 2015.
The Portugal captain is expected to draw level with Messi, having helped Real Madrid win LaLiga and become the first side to successfully defend the Champions League in its modern guise.
Ronaldo is joined by six of his Madrid teammates, making the European champions the best-represented club in the nominees.
Paris Saint-Germain 18-year-old sensation Kylian Mbappe is also included, along with Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci and Chelsea winger Eden Hazard.
Last year's other podium finisher Antoine Griezmann, was also among the selections, along with Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, PSG star Neymar and in-form Tottenham striker Harry Kane.
LaLiga accounts for more than a third of the shortlist with 11 of the players plying their trade in Spain's top flight. The Premier League is next (7), followed by Serie A (5), Ligue 1 (4) and the Bundesliga (3).
It will be difficult for anyone to topple Ronaldo, but should it occur the man to depose him will be one of the individuals listed with the 32-year-old below.
The 30-man Ballon d'Or shortlist in full:
Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Paulo Dybala (Juventus)
Marcelo (Real Madrid)
N'Golo Kante (Chelsea)
Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)
Dries Mertens (Napoli)
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
David de Gea (Manchester United)
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Edin Dzeko (Roma)
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
Radamel Falcao (Monaco)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund)
Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain)
Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)
Isco (Real Madrid)
Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)