Ballon d'Or 2018: Modric, Messi & Ronaldo headline the 30 Ballon d'Or nominees

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Trio of stars have been joined by the likes of Harry Kane, Eden Hazard and Kylian Mbappe

Ballon d'Or season is in full swing, and the nominations have been revealed!

It is 10 years since Juventus attacker Cristiano Ronaldo first won the award, marking the start of an unprecedented duopoly between the Portuguese and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.

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

Defender Fabio Cannavaro was victorious in 2006, while Ronaldinho, Andriy Shevchenko and Pavel Nedved were successful in 2005, 2004 and 2003 respectively.

The last English winner was Michael Owen in 2001, but Ronaldo and Messi have established a stunning stranglehold, winning five each.

Only Michel Platini, Johann Cruyff and Marco van Basten have won three of the awards, while Germany duo Franz Beckenbauer and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Brazil's Ronaldo, Spain's Alfredo Di Stefano and England's Kevin Keegan have won two apiece.

It remains to be seen, however, if Ronaldo or Messi will be successful again this year, after Luka Modric won the FIFA Best Men's Player of the Year award. The winner of this year's Ballon d'Or will be announced in Paris on December 3 by France Football.

Take a look at all 30 of nominees in Goal 's slide list!

 

 

  1. Sergio Aguero | Manchester City

    The striker enjoyed another strong season with Manchester City, finishing third in the Premier League in goals with 21 and helping to guide the club to a record-breaking title win. He was also part of an Argentina squad that made the round of 16 in the World Cup, scoring twice in Russia.
  2. Gareth Bale | Real Madrid

    While perhaps a down season for his standards, Bale still scored 16 times in La Liga last season in just 26 appearances. And the Wales international played a crucial role in Real Madrid taking home their third straight Champions League crown, with his bicycle kick stunner in the final in Kiev that proved to be the winner over Liverpool. 
  3. Alisson Becker | Liverpool

    Alisson entered last season as the No.1 for Roma for the first time and quickly proved worthy of the mantle. His strong play in goal helped lead the Serie A club to a surprise semi-final run in the Champions League, where they were knocked out by his future club, Liverpool. Starting for Brazil in a trip to the quarter-finals of the World Cup followed, with a then-record breaking transfer to Anfield his reward. 
  4. Karim Benzema | Real Madrid

    Benzema's La Liga campaign with Real Madrid was forgettable – he scored just five goals – but the club may not have won their third straight Champions League title without him. He scored five goals in nine games, including the opener in the final when he blocked an ill-advised Loris Karius pass into the net for a 1-0 Madrid lead. 
  5. Edinson Cavani | PSG

    Cavani was his usual dominant self in Ligue 1, finishing atop the goalscoring charts with 28. He added another seven in the Champions League for good measure and in the World Cup, scored a brace in the round of 16 to lead Uruguay past Portugal. Unfortunately, he picked up an injury in that win, and missed his country's quarter-final elimination to France. 
  6. Thibaut Courtois | Real Madrid

    While he was his usual standout performer in goal with Chelsea last season, Courtois' shining moment arguably came in the World Cup quarter-finals, where he put on a massive performance to see Belgium advance past tournament favourites Brazil. The goalkeeper then got a move back to Spain following, joining up with Real Madrid. 
  7. Cristiano Ronaldo | Juventus

    A "down" season for Ronaldo at Madrid saw him spark to life in the second half and he finished with 26 goals in the competition. But his standout moments didn't come in La Liga – Ronaldo scored one of the best goals of the year in Champions League quarter-finals against Juventus, and delivered a massive free-kick to complete a hat-trick to salvage a draw for Portugal in their World Cup opener. Now at Juventus, he looks for his sixth Ballon d'Or of the last decade. 
  8. Kevin De Bruyne | Manchester City

    No player had more assists (16) in the Premier League for De Bruyne, as he helped Manchester City become centurions in their Premier League title-winning campaign. He also was excellent in the World Cup, aiding Belgium in their third-place finish in Russia.
  9. Roberto Firmino | Liverpool

    While overshadowed by Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino's high workrate and creativity was arguably the glue that kept Liverpool's front-three so dynamic. 26 goals between the Premier League and Champions League also showed he could finish as well. He also had an argument that he deserved more minutes from Brazil in Russia, scoring once despite only getting 81 minutes in the tournament. 
  10. Diego Godin | Atletico Madrid

    The standout defender on an Atletico Madrid side that conceded the fewest goals in La Liga last season (22 in 38 games), Godin also took home silverware in the form of the Europa League trophy. The Uruguay man was also important in his national team's run to World Cup quarter-finals. 
  11. Antoine Griezmann | Atletico Madrid

    While his 19 goals in La Liga were important, Griezmann's biggest contributions arguably come in the form of the silverware he helped his teams win. Six goals in eight games, including a standout effort when Atletico were reduced to 10 men against Arsenal, netted a Europa League trophy. And he scored four times in the World Cup, including one in the final against Croatia, to help France to glory. 
  12. Harry Kane | Tottenham

    Kane had an impressive 30-goal haul in the Premier League, which would have been good for the league's Golden Boot in most campaigns. But while Mohamed Salah denied him in England, nobody would in Russia, as Kane's six goals proved top among all the participants in the 2018 World Cup. 
  13. Eden Hazard | Chelsea

    Perhaps muted in the Premier League for his standards, Hazard still finished with 12 goals and four assists for Chelsea and scored the lone goal in their FA Cup final win over Manchester United. He also added three goals for Belgium in Russia as he helped the team to a third-place finsh. And he's begun this season on fire, with already seven goals and three assists in eight league games for the Blues.
  14. N'Golo Kante | Chelsea

    There's not much question that Chelsea's midfield functions miles better when Kante is on the field. And France reaped those same benefits in Russia, as he formed an impressive duo with Paul Pogba in the center of the field to help Les Bleus win the World Cup. 
  15. Isco | Real Madrid

    The Real Madrid attacker scored seven goals and added seven assists in La Liga last season. He took home silverware with Madrid in the Champions League, and scored a goal in Spain's 2-2 draw with Morocco. Without that point, Spain would not have qualified out of the group stage in Russia. 
  16. Kylian Mbappe | PSG

    Still just 19 years of age, Mbappe already has eight goals on this season's Ligue 1 campaign, despite playing only five games. His performances are reinforcing a World Cup that saw him equal marks set by Pele, and have made him the runaway favourite for the Kopa trophy for the best player 21 and under. 
  17. Sadio Mane | Liverpool

    An instrumental part in the trio that took the Champions League by storm, Mane scored 10 goals in the Premier League and another 10 in Europe's top continental competition. He also added eight assists for Liverpool, and scored a goal for Senegal in the World Cup in Russia. 
  18. Hugo Lloris | Tottenham

    The Tottenham keeper capped another solid season with Spurs with four clean sheets and World Cup victory with France in Russia. While questions were asked of him coming into the tournament, he was everything Les Bleus needed, outside of one hiccup with the nation ahead by three goals in the final.
  19. Marcelo | Real Madrid

    Marcelo proved a dynamic contributor to Real Madrid's third straight Champions League title, including assisting on both Gareth Bale goals in the final. He was also important in Brazil's trip to the World Cup quarter-finals. 
  20. Mario Mandzukic | Juventus

    The veteran attacker may have been overshadowed by Luka Modric in Russia, but his contributions to Croatia's World Cup final run are not to be overlooked. He scored the lone goal in the eventual win over Denmark on penalties, and scored the famous extra-time winner in the semi-final over England. He also managed a goal in the final in defeat. 
  21. Luka Modric | Real Madrid

    Nobody has won the Ballon d'Or besides Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo since Kaka in 2007. If anyone can break their hold, it will be Modric, whose performances for Real Madrid and Croatia have already seen him take home UEFA's Player of the Year award and FIFA's Best award. 
  22. Lionel Messi | Barcelona

    If there is such a thing as the exceptional becoming routine, it is with Messi, who managed 34 goals and 12 assists in La Liga last season, another six goals and two assists in the Champions League, and has begun the season with six more La Liga goals and five more in the Champions League. He also added a goal and two assists for Argentina in the World Cup.
  23. Paul Pogba | Manchester United

    While his run-ins with Jose Mourinho are the talk now, there's no doubting Pogba's quality, both with Manchester United and France. He had six goals and 10 assists for the Red Devils last season, and already has four goals between the Premier League and Champions League this season. And of course, he was instrumental in France's triumph in Russia, partnering with N'Golo Kante in the center of the midfield to help lead Les Bleus to glory.
  24. Neymar | PSG

    For all the criticism he gets, it's hard to deny the raw production Neymar can deliver. He managed 19 goals and 13 assists last season for PSG, despite missing a large chunk of the season with a foot fracture. Coming back in time for the World Cup, he did score two goals and add another assist in Russia, even if he would have hoped for more. And for all the talk of his theatrics, Neymar already has 11 goals between Ligue 1 and the Champions League this season. 
  25. Jan Oblak | Atletico Madrid

    Atletico Madrid boasted the stingiest defence in La Liga last year, conceding just 22 times. Oblak was a big part of that, and was reward for the goalkeeper was silverware in the club's Europa League triumph last May. He had a clean sheet in the 3-0 victory over Marseille in the final. 
  26. Ivan Rakitic | Barcelona

    While he was somewhat overshadowed by his Croatia team-mate Modric, was solid again for Barcelona last season in helping them to the La Liga crown. In the World Cup, he and Modric were a big part of their nation's formidable midfield, with Rakitic scoring the winning penalty in the shootout victory over Russia which took Croatia to the semi-final.
  27. Sergio Ramos | Real Madrid

    The defender's exploits for Real Madrid, including captaining them to a third straight Champions League crown, not only helped him secure his Ballon d'Or nomination, but also netted him UEFA's defender of the year award for the second consecutive time. 
  28. Mohamed Salah | Liverpool

    The Egypt star's return to the Premier League could not have gone better as he broke the Premier League's goalscoring record with Liverpool with 32. Another 10 came in the Champions League, as he helped his team to the final in Kiev, though an injury sustained with a collision with Sergio Ramos cut his game short. He did return in time to score two goals in two games for Egypt in the World Cup in Russia. 
  29. Luis Suarez | Barcelona

    It was another excellent season for the striker, as Suarez scored 25 goals and added 12 assists for Barcelona in La Liga. He added another two goals and an assist for Uruguay in the World Cup, aiding in his team's trip to the quarter-finals.
  30. Raphael Varane | Real Madrid

    Perhaps overshadowed at times by his Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos, Varane helped form the backbone of both Real Madrid's Champions League winning team and France's World Cup title in Russia. But if he is a touch overlooked at times among fans and media, he was not by his peers, as Varane appeared on numerous top-3 ballots for FIFA's the Best award, so his nomination for the Ballon d'Or is anything but a shock.