Ballon d’Or nominees announced



GARETH Bale is among the first five players to be shortlisted by France Football magazine for the 2018 Ballon d’Or.

The Real Madrid and Wales forward is joined on the list by his club-mate Karim Benzema, Liverpool and Brazil goalkeeper Alisson, Manchester City and Argentina striker Sergio Aguero and Paris Saint-Germain and Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani.

Twenty-five further nominees will be announced throughout Monday, with a 30-man shortlist eventually being drawn up ahead of the awards ceremony in Paris on December 3.

The Ballon d’Or is handed out by France Football, and is separate from FIFA’s own world player of the year awards, known as The Best, which was won by Real Madrid’s Croatian midfielder Luka Modric.

The shortlist is curated by the editorial office of France Football, and the winner is then picked from the list by a panel of international journalists, with one representative per country.

The Ballon d’Or is awarded according to three separate criteria. The panel judge nominees on: their performances during the calendar year, their talent and fair play, and their achievements throughout their career.

Each panel member picks their top five nominees, with their first pick being awarded six points, their second pick receiving four points, their third three points, their fourth two points and their final pick one point.

The player with the most points received once all panel members have cast their votes is awarded the Ballon d’Or. In the event of a tie, the player with the most first picks is given the trophy.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the current holder of the Ballon d’Or. – Sky Sports



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