Ballon d'Or 2018: Bale, Benzema and Agüero among first five

Lynette Rowe
October 8, 2018

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

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

Kane scored 41 goals in all competitions for Spurs last season before winning the Golden Boot at the World Cup with six strikes in England's run to the semi-finals.

Federation Internationale de Football Association are releasing the full 30-man shortlist throughout Monday names are released in alphabetical order with the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric expected to make the shortlist.

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

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NAIJ.com previously reported that Real Madrid were crowned champions of Europe for the 13th time as they defeated Liverpool in the Champions League final by 3-1.

Liverpool's Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker, Frenchman Karim Benzema and Edinson Cavani completes the five-man list.

The bookies are still tipping Real Madrid maestro Luka Modric to scoop the award after an impressive year that saw him win another Champions League title, as well as inspire Croatia to the World Cup final.

Benzema's inclusion comes as something of a surprise, the 30-year-old having scored just five LaLiga goals throughout last season as Madrid finished 17 points behind champions Barcelona.

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

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