Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

First five nominees for Ballon d'Or announced

Ballon d'Or LIVE updates- Bale and Aguero among first nominees Ballon d'Or 2018: Bale, Benzema and Agüero among first five
Sidney Guerrero | 10 October, 2018, 10:56

Ronaldo is the defending champion, having won his fifth Ballon d'Or in 2017.

Ronaldo, now at Juventus, won the Champions League for the third season in a row with Madrid, while De Bruyne inspired Manchester City's Premier League and EFL Cup double before a strong World Cup showing.

For a while the award was combined with world football's governing body FIFA's Best Award, but the association was cut off in September 2016.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Paris on Monday December 3, with television coverage from 20:45 CET.

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 Tottenham striker captained England to their first World Cup semi-final in 28 years in Russian Federation this summer.

They were beaten 4-2 in the final by France, and there are six of the victorious Les Bleus team on the list in Pogba, Lloris, Kante, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe - also nominated for the Kopa Trophy - and Real's Raphael Varane.

Other top players nominated for the award are, Neymar, Gareth Bale, Eden Hazard, Luka Modric and Harry Kane.

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To that end, the Pixel Slate can be easily attached to the Pixel Slate Keyboard (sold separately) and used with a digital stylus . The keyboard is backlit with rounded keys and connects to the Pixel Slate via a smart connector at the bottom of the device.

Saul also defended Atletico coach Diego Simeone, who was booed by fans earlier this season.

Four goalkeepers are also among the 30 - Thibaut Courtois of Belgium and Real Madrid, Liverpool and Brazil stopper Alisson Becker, Tottenham's France World Cup victor Hugo Lloris and Atletico's Jan Oblak.

Also making the cut are Juve's Mario Mandzukic and Liverpool's Sadio Mane, while Barcelona are also represented by Croat defender Ivan Rakitic.

The Manchester United midfielder was named on the 30-man shortlist for the award for the best player of the year, with the victor to be announced in Paris on December 3.

France internationals Amandine Henry, Amel Majri and Wendie Renard are joined on the list by Germany's Dzsenifer Marozsan, England's Lucy Bronze, Ada Hegerberg of Norway and Japan defender Saki Kumagai.

But a combination of apparent voter fatigue, Croatia's fairytale run, and recent rape allegations against the Portuguese star have lessened his chances with the bookies, with Modric, who captured the rival FIFA Best Player award last month, now considered the odds-on favorite.

Kylian Mbappe is third-favourite after winning the World Cup with France at the age of 19, with 6-1 odds.

Liverpool and Egypt forward Mohamed Salah has so far received 51% of the fan votes on France Football's Ballon d'Or victor poll on its website.

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