Ronaldo among first nominees for Ballon d’Or award

Ruben Holloway
October 9, 2018

The Portuguese has won the award for the past two years and five times in total, a record he shares with Argentine Lionel Messi who is expected to be included on the 30 man shortlist named throughout the day.

The Juventus forward, now facing allegations of rape dating back to 2009 that he strenuously denies, has already won the Ballon d'Or five times and is the current holder of the award. Messi has also won the award on five occasions.

The Croatian had a stellar year, leading his country to an unlikely World Cup final while also winning a third-consecutive Champions League title.

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The 30 Ballon d'Or nominees, revealed by France Football, have been released and consist of 11 Premier League players, 14 from La Liga, three from Ligue 1 and two from Serie A. The victor of the prestigious Ballon d'Or organised by France Football magazine will be announced on December 3.

Tottenham's Kane, 25, helped England reach the semi-finals of the World Cup in Russian Federation, while 29-year-old Bale scored twice for Real Madrid in the Champions League win over Liverpool.

Liverpool's Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino and Uruguay's rugged defender Diego Godin of Atletico Madrid also got the nod.

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PSG's Mbappe appears a dead certainty for the newly-introduced Kopa Trophy, which rewards the best players under 21, and is voted on by previous Ballon d'Or winners.

Five-time victor Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Antoine Griezmann lead the shortlist for football's most prestigious individual prize, while Kylian Mbappe is the standout in the race for the new Kopa Trophy for young players.

The award merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year prize from 2010-2015 to create the FIFA Ballon d'Or, but returned to France Football magazine in 2016 while FIFA established The Best awards.

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The victor will be announced on December 3.

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