Ballon d'Or 2018: Bale, Kane, Messi, Ronaldo, Salah, Pogba, Aguero among nominees

Wales international Gareth Bale (left) and England forward Harry Kane
Gareth Bale (left) and Harry Kane crossed paths at Tottenham before the former left to join Real Madrid in 2013

Wales forward Gareth Bale and England striker Harry Kane are among the nominees for the 2018 Ballon d'Or.

The 30-man shortlist is dominated by Champions League winners Real Madrid, who have eight players nominated.

Chelsea's Eden Hazard, Liverpool's Mohamed Salah and Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne are among 11 Premier League players on the list.

The Ballon d'Or, first presented in 1956, is given to the best player of the year.

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

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero is a contender, as are Liverpool keeper Alisson and forwards Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

Paul Pogba, of Manchester United, Chelsea's N'Golo Kante and Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris are also selected.

Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Juventus from Real Madrid in the summer, won last year's Ballon d'Or and is again a contender along with five-time winner Lionel Messi.

Tottenham's Kane, 25, who is shortlisted alongside team-mate Hugo Lloris, helped England reach the semi-finals of the World Cup in Russia, while 29-year-old Bale scored twice for Real Madrid in the Champions League win over Liverpool.

The shortlist:

2018 Ballon d'Or nominees
Sergio AgueroForwardArgentinaManchester City
Gareth BaleForwardWalesReal Madrid
Karim BenzemaForwardFranceReal Madrid
Kevin de Bruyne MidfielderBelgiumManchester City
Edinson CavaniForwardUruguayParis St-Germain
Thibaut CourtoisGoalkeeperBelgiumReal Madrid
Roberto FirminoForwardBrazilLiverpool
Diego GodinDefenderUruguayAtletico Madrid
Antoine GriezmannForwardFranceAtletico Madrid
Eden HazardForwardBelgiumChelsea
IscoMidfielderSpainReal Madrid
Harry KaneForwardEnglandTottenham
N'Golo KanteMidfielderFranceChelsea
Hugo LlorisGoalkeeperFranceTottenham
Mario MandzukicForwardCroatiaJuventus
Sadio ManeForwardSenegalLiverpool
MarceloDefenderBrazilReal Madrid
Kylian MbappeForwardFranceParis St-Germain
Lionel MessiForwardArgentinaBarcelona
Luka ModricMidfielderCroatiaReal Madrid
NeymarForwardBrazilParis St-Germain
Jan OblakGoalkeeperSloveniaAtletico Madrid
Paul PogbaMidfielderFranceManchester United
Cristiano RonaldoForwardPortugalJuventus
Ivan RakiticMidfielderCroatiaBarcelona
Sergio RamosDefenderSpainReal Madrid
Mohamed SalahMidfielderEgyptLiverpool
Luis SuarezForwardUruguayBarcelona
Raphael VaraneDefenderFranceReal Madrid

What is the Ballon d'Or?

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

The list is compiled by the editorial staff of the French publication, with the winner voted for by journalists from around the world, with one representative per nation.

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

However, Fifa ended its association with the award in September 2016.

At Fifa's awards in September, Croatia and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric was named the world's best male player, while Brazil and Orlando Pride forward Marta won the best female player award.

Ballon d'Or winners: Ronaldo & Messi dominate since 2008
2008Cristiano RonaldoLionel MessiFernando Torres
2009Lionel MessiCristiano RonaldoXavi
2010Lionel MessiAndres IniestaXavi
2011Lionel MessiCristiano RonaldoXavi
2012Lionel MessiCristiano RonaldoAndres Iniesta
2013Cristiano RonaldoLionel MessiFranck Ribery
2014Cristiano RonaldoLionel MessiManuel Neuer
2015Lionel MessiCristiano RonaldoNeymar
2016Cristiano RonaldoLionel MessiAntoine Griezmann
2017Cristiano RonaldoLionel MessiNeymar

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