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Roberto Firmino and Eden Hazard make Ballon d'Or shortlist

10 October, 2018, 08:43 | Author: Candice Daniels
  • Ballon d'Or LIVE updates- Bale and Aguero among first nominees

Lionel Messi, Neymar and World Cup victor Kylian Mbappe are among the final players named on the 30-man Ballon d'Or shortlist.

Modric, a World Cup runner-up with Croatia, beat Juventus' Ronaldo and Salah to win the Federation Internationale de Football Association prize last month after Messi was surprisingly left off the final three-man list.

But the Atletico Madrid man is clearly hoping that he or his countrymen get recognised later in the year, adding, "I think the Ballon d'Or has more prestige, a richer history".

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

Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero, Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema and Paris St-Germain attacker Edinson Cavani are also contenders.

Sure Pogba wasn't actually picked for his form for Manchester United but for his part in France winning the World Cup but you can still imagine his appearance on the 30 man list would have sent Souness into a rage.

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.

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Luka Modric walked away with FIFA's version of the best player in the world award and there's a good possibility the Croatia midfielder could do the same again with the more illustrious version of the award.

Modric's worldwide team-mates Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Rakitic are also on the shortlist, as are Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

A panel of journalists selects the Ballon d'Or victor which was first established in 1956 and will this year feature a women's award for the first time.

During the turn of the decade FIFA and Ballon d'Or merged together and was presented as one prestigious award but that association came to an end in 2016.

PSG's Mbappe appears a dead certainty for the newly-introduced Kopa Trophy, which rewards the best players under 21, and is voted on by previous Ballon d'Or winners. 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.

Sir Stanley Matthews won the first Ballon d'Or in 1956.

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