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Ballon d'Or nominees: Who should win the prestigious prize?

09 October 2018
Ballon d'Or nominees: Who should win the prestigious prize?

The Ballon d'Or has been awarded by France Football every year since 1956, with former England worldwide Sir Stanley Matthews the first victor.

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.

Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Juventus from Real Madrid in the summer, won last year's Ballon d'Or.

The Ballon d'Or is run by France Football, after confirmation this year Fifa had broken away from the award.

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.

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne are contenders while Liverpool's formidable top three Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino were all included.

Chelsea and Belgium star Hazard is included after impressing for club and country throughout the past year, while Griezmann, a Europa League and World Cup victor with Atletico Madrid and France respectively, is one of the favourites for the award.

Firmino is nominated despite Liverpool failing to win a trophy last term and Brazil reaching only the World Cup quarter-finals, while Godin gets the nod following Atletico Madrid's victories in the Europa League and UEFA Super Cup.

He was followed by Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, who made a then-world record transfer to the club after helping Roma to the Champions League semifinals.

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.