Ballon d'Or 2018 nominees list revealed

The shortlist for the 2018 Ballon d'Or award has been revealed and it is dominated by Champions League winners Real Madrid, the Spanish club have no less than eight of the thirty players on the list. The award, which was first presented back in 1956, will be given in a ceremony in Paris on December 3rd. There are 11 Premier League players on the list, but the nation that dominates the shortlist is France, with seven nominees after having lifted the World Cup in Russia this summer. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are on the list once again, the duo have won every award for the past ten years. The last player to win the award before the Messi-Ronaldo domination was Brazilian forward Kaka in 2007.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have won five awards apiece, Michel Platini, Johann Cruyff and Marco van Basten had won three each, while Franz Beckenbauer, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Ronaldo, Alfredo Di Stefano and Kevin Keegan have won the award twice. This year France and Croatia have a good shot at the award, since they have played the FIFA World Cup final. In fact, midfielder Luka Modric has already lifted the best male player award at the Best Fifa Football Awards in September. Striker Mario Mandzukic has been included alongside Modric on the Ballon d'Or shortlist.

The shortlist includes four goalkeepers: Alisson from Liverpool, Thibaut Courtois from Real Madrid, Hugo Lloris from Tottenham and Jan Oblak from Real Madrid. However, it's the strikers that usually win this award, the last non-forward to win it was Italian defender Paolo Cannavaro in 2006. New Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo is among the favourites once again, along with French rising stars Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, while Barcelona forward Lionel Messi also has another shot at the award. Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is also on the list, but his form since the start of the season doesn't give him many chances to win.

Luka Modric is 4/7 at SkyBet to win the 2018 Ballon d'Or, Cristiano Ronaldo is 5/4 while Lionel Messi is 16/1 to win it.

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