Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Bale, De Bruyne among first Ballon d'Or nominees

The 30-man shortlist for this year's Ballon d'Or award is being revealed today GETTY The 30-man shortlist for this year's Ballon d'Or award is being revealed today
Cassandra Gardner | 09 October, 2018, 01:04

Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero was the first nominee after winning the Premier League, Carabao Cup and Community Shield, scoring 26 goals in 33 games in 2018 for club and country.

The victor of the prestigious Ballon d'Or organised by France Football magazine will be announced on December 3.

The 33-year-old forward, who ended his nine-season stay at Real Madrid by moving to Juventus for £99million in the summer, is a five-time victor of the award.

The names are released in groups of five throughout the day, with the full 30-player shortlist eventually being drawn up ahead of the awards ceremony in Paris on 3 December.

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.

Riyad Mahrez's penalty miss for Manchester City against Liverpool
Goals are guaranteed, they said. "It shouldn't have happened but obviously I'm happy that we didn't concede". Guardiola said: "If it is an open game at Anfield, you don't even have one percent of a chance.


Completing the final 15 nominees for France Football's prize are Real Madrid's Marcelo and Sergio Ramos, Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak and Barcelona forward Luis Suarez.

Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, two key members of the France national team that sailed to their second-ever World Cup trophy are also likely to finish with high tallies, as are Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne, members of Belgium's star-studded side that came third at Russian Federation 2018.

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.

The victor will be announced in Paris on 3 December with a women's victor awarded for the first time.

Thirty players will be announced on the shortlist for the 2018 award. Kylian Mbappe, the Paris Saint-Germain striker who burst onto the global scene with his performances as France won the World Cup, is the favourite.

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