Modric v Ronaldo rematch as Ballon d'Or nominees unveiled

Gareth Bale is one of the first nominees for the 2018 Ballon d'or

Gareth Bale is one of the first nominees for the 2018 Ballon d'or

Cristiano Ronaldo headlines the latest batch of players to be announced as nominees for the 2018 Ballon d'Or by France football.

The 30-man shortlist for the annual award is separate from FIFA's The Best award, which was won by Luka Modric.

Ronaldo and Messi have dominated the award since 2008 with five awards between then, but a Modric victory would end their decade-long domination of the prestigious honour.

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.

Chelsea midfielder Kante was a pivotal figure in France's World Cup success and helped his club win the FA Cup in May.

Federation Internationale de Football Association split from the Ballon d'Or in 2016 to launch its own set of awards.

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.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker has been included in the list alongside Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero.

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Four goalkeepers are also among the 30 - Thibaut Courtois of Belgium and Real Madrid, Liverpool and Brazil stopper Alisson Becker, Tottenham's France World Cup victor Hugo Lloris and Atletico's Jan Oblak.

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

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

In another first, the best under-21 player will receive the Kopa Trophy.

The Ballon d'Or, which was first won by Englishman Stanley Matthews in 1956, is decided by a ballot of journalists from around the world.

The victor will be announced on December 3.

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