Bale, De Bruyne among first Ballon d'Or nominees

Marcus Newton
October 9, 2018

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo was among the first 10 nominees for the men's Ballon d'Or trophy announced on Monday, awarded by France Football magazine to the best player in the world.

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.

And Coral have made him 2-5 to scoop this prize too, which commences in Paris on the 3 December.

The Spain worldwide, 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.

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.

Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero and PSG's Neymar are nominated as are two other prolific South American strikers: Uruguayans Edinson Cavani of PSG and Luis Suarez of Barcelona.

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Real Madrid midfielder Isco, Liverpool's Brazilian Roberto Firmino and Uruguay's rugged defender Diego Godin of Atletico Madrid also got the nod.

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

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.

However, FIFA ended its association with the award in September 2016.

They are joined by Mbappe's France team-mates Hugo Lloris, Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane, as well as Croatia star Luka Modric, who won the World Cup Golden Ball.

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.

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