France Football magazine has released a list of players shortlisted for the 2018 Ballon d’Or award.
Current holder Cristiano Ronaldo has been nominated for the award having helped Real Madrid win the Champions League, scoring 44 goals in all competitions for Real Madrid.
Ronaldo has since moved to Juventus and he has found his goal scoring boots in Italy while he also scored 4 goals at the World Cup which makes him a strong contender for the award.
France Magazine uses a special style of announcing the nominees doing so in pairs.
Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Liverpool and Brazil goalkeeper Alisson, Manchester City and Argentina striker Sergio Aguero and Paris Saint-Germain and Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani were the first five to be shortlisted.
Others include Diego Godin, Courtois and Firmino.
2018 Ballon d’or shortList.
Sergio Aguero Manchester City &Argentina
Alisson Liverpool & Brazil
Gareth Bale Real Madrid & Wales
Karim Benzema Real Madrid
Edinson Cavani PSG & Uruguay
Thibaut Courtois Real Madrid & Belgium
Cristiano Ronaldo Juventus & Portugal
Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City & Belgium
Roberto Firmino Liverpool & Brazil
Diego Godin Atletico Madrid & Uruguay
Antoine Griezmann Atletico Madrid & France
Eden Hazard Chelsea & Belgium
Isco Real Madrid & Spain
Harry Kane Tottenham Hotspur & England
N’Golo Kante Chelsea & France
Hugo Lloris Tottenham & France
Mario Mandzukic Juventus & Croatia
Sadio Mane Liverpool & Senegal
Marcelo Real Madrid & Brazil
Kylian Mbappe PSG & France
Lionel Messi Barcelona & Argentina
Luka Modric Real Madrid & Croatia
Neymar PSG & Brazil
Jan Oblak Atletico Madrid & Slovenia
Paul Pogba Manchester United & France
Ivan Rakitic Barcelona & Croatia
Sergio Ramos Real Madrid & Spain
Mohamed Salah Liverpool & Egypt
Luis Suarez Barcelona & Uruguay
Raphael Varane Real Madrid & France
The awards ceremony will take place in Paris on December 3rd.
The shortlist is curated by the editorial office of France Football, and the winner is then picked from the list by a panel of international journalists, with one representative per country.
The Ballon d’Or is awarded according to three separate criteria. The panel judge nominees on: their performances during the calendar year, their talent and fair play, and their achievements throughout their career.
Each panel member picks their top five nominees, with their first pick being awarded six points, their second pick receiving four points, their third three points, their fourth two points and their final pick one point.
The player with the most points received once all panel members have cast their votes is awarded the Ballon d’Or. In the event of a tie, the player with the most first picks is given the trophy.
Luka Modric holds FIFA the best men’s player of the year award and the UEFA male player of the year and would be looking to make it a clean sweep by adding the ballon d’or to his cabinet.
The Ballon D’or remains a special award in the football circles. Past winners include Kaka, Zidane, Ronaldinho, Michael Owen, Fabio Cannavaro amongst others