Ballon d'Or 2018: Ronaldo, Courtois nominated but De Gea misses out

Cristiano Ronaldo Harry Kane and Eden Hazard are on the 2018 Ballon d'Or shortlist

Cristiano Ronaldo Harry Kane and Eden Hazard are on the 2018 Ballon d'Or shortlist

The first five Ballon d'Or nominees have been named and a number of Premier League players feature prominently on the list.

The City striker is among the first five names to be revealed by France Football, along with Edinson Cavani, Alisson Becker, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema.

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

Alisson joined the club from AS Roma during the summer after helping the Serie A side reach the Champions League semi-finals last season and having represented Brazil at the World Cup.

He is joined by the holder and five-time victor Ronaldo, who is included after facing an allegation of rape by a woman he met in Las Vegas in 2009, which the Juventus striker denies.

Gareth Bale goal
Image Gareth Bale scored a spectacular overhead kick in the Champions League final

Completing the final 15 nominees for France Football's prize are Real Madrid's Marcelo and Sergio Ramos, Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak and Barcelona forward Luis Suarez.

Antoine Griezmann, a World Cup victor with France and Europa League champion at Atletico Madrid, is nominated alongside global teammate and Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante. 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.

But a combination of apparent voter fatigue, Croatia's fairytale run, and recent rape allegations against the Portuguese star have lessened his chances with the bookies, with Modric, who captured the rival FIFA Best Player award last month, now considered the odds-on favorite.

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

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

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