Bale, De Bruyne among first Ballon d'Or nominees

Tanya Simon
October 10, 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are once again nominated for Ballon d'Or award.

No French player made it into FIFA's top three with Modric joined by Ronaldo and Mo Salah and Antoine Griezmann was baffled by that fact saying at the time, "It's a prize from Federation Internationale de Football Association and it seems a pity that no World Cup winners were nominated." .

The Spain worldwide, who was named in the FIFA FIFPro World 11 last month, has not been included in the latest group of five nominees for France Football's individual prize.

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero and midfielder Kevin de Bruyne are also contenders, as are Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson and forward Robert Firmino.

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

Antoine Griezmann, a World Cup victor with France and Europa League champion at Atletico Madrid, is nominated alongside worldwide teammate and Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante.

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

Modric's worldwide team-mates Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Rakitic are also on the shortlist, as are Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

For the first time, a Ballon d'Or for women players will be awarded this year, with Champions League winners Lyon accounting for seven of the 15 nominees.

However, the Manchester United man believes he should not win the Ballon d'Or ahead of his global team-mates.

In another first, the best under-21 player will receive the Kopa Trophy. Kylian Mbappe, the Paris Saint-Germain striker who burst onto the global scene with his performances as France won the World Cup, is the favourite.

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