Modric v Ronaldo rematch as Ballon d'Or nominees unveiled

09 October, 2018, 11:33 | Author: Malcolm Quinn
  • Gareth Bale is one of the first nominees for the 2018 Ballon d'or

The latest candidates, who are being revealed in alphabetical order, include Thibaut Courtois, 2017 victor Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin De Bruyne, Roberto Firmino and Diego Godin.

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.

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

Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, two key members of the France national team that sailed to their second-ever World Cup trophy are also likely to finish with high tallies, as are Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne, members of Belgium's star-studded side that came third at Russian Federation 2018.

Nominees for the honour are being released gradually throughout Monday, with Manchester City pair Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne and Liverpool duo Alisson Becker and Roberto Firmino the current Premier League contenders.

The Spain global, 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.


Two goalkeepers are also among the first 15 - Thibaut Courtois of Belgium and Real Madrid and Liverpool and Brazil stopper Alisson Becker.

In another first, the best under-21 player will receive the Kopa Trophy.

The Ballon d'Or is separate from FIFA's own world player of the year awards, which was won by Real Madrid's Croatian midfielder Luka Modric. The award ceremony takes place on December 3.

The Ballon d'Or, a prestigious award that was first presented in 1956, is given to the best player of the year.

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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