Harry Kane, Cristiano Ronaldo and Eden Hazard named on Ballon d'Or shortlist

Jo Caldwell
October 9, 2018

The last victor outside of the superhuman pair is Kaka, the Brazilian playmaker who won the prize in 2007.

Wales forward Gareth Bale and England striker Harry Kane are among the nominees for the 2018 Ballon d'Or, BBC Sport reports.

Victory in the Champions League for the third consecutive season and their players among the World Cup finalists in Russian Federation have resulted in the Spanish side being well represented.

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.

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Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker has been included in the list alongside Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero.

Specialist magazine France Football, which has awarded the prize since 1956, announced the 30 nominees for the calendar year trophy, among whom a victor will be chosen by a group of respected football journalists from around the world.

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

Cristiano Ronaldo is in contention to retain the Ballon d'Or for the third successive year after being named on the 30-man shortlist.

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The honour, now separate from FIFA's own Best player of the year award, is bestowed annually by France Football magazine.

The Ballon d'Or, which was first won by Englishman Stanley Matthews in 1956, is decided by a ballot of journalists from around the world.

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 will be announced on December 3.

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