Ronaldo among first nominees for Ballon d’Or award

The Ballon d'Or is separate from FIFA's own world player of the year awards, which was won by Real Madrid's Croatian midfielder Luka Modric.

The Ballon d'Or has been awarded by France Football every year since 1956, with former England global Sir Stanley Matthews the first victor.

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

Others are: Edinson Cavani from Uruguay, Paris St Germain; Thibaut Courtois from Belgium, Real Madrid; Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal, Juventus; Kevin De Bruyne from Belgium, Manchester City.

Antoine Griezmann, another World Cup victor with France and Europa League champion at Atletico Madrid, is nominated alongside worldwide team-mates, Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante and Manchester United's Paul Pogba.

Men's shortlist so far: are Sergio Aguero from Argentina, Manchester City; Alisson Becker from Brazil, Liverpool; Gareth Bale from Wales, Real Madrid; Karim Benzema from France, Real Madrid. "The Ballon d'Or must be won by a French player".

The 30 candidates for the annual prize, presented by France Football magazine, were revealed on Monday - with the Reds quartet confirmed among the nominees.

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

The 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or award was announced yesterday, with leading world stars such as Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé on the list alongside the likes of Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane and Eden Hazard, who have lit up the Premier League. Here we will discuss the players who have made the list due to reputation and team success, rather than individual performances.

The ceremony to announce the victor will take place in Paris on 3 December, when a women's award will also be presented for the first time.

For six years it combined with world football's governing body to become the Fifa Ballon d'Or.

Vanessa Coleman