Premier League 11 in Ballon d’Or nominees
England striker Harry Kane and Wales forward Gareth Bale are the only British names on the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or.
Tottenham’s Kane and Real Madrid’s Bale are on a list that also features five-time winners Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won the award the past two years.
It includes a total of 11 Premier League players – Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, Kane and his Spurs team-mate Hugo Lloris, Liverpool’s Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, and Chelsea pair Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante.
There are two England players among the nominees for the inaugural Women’s Ballon d’Or – Lyon defender Lucy Bronze and Chelsea forward Fran Kirby.
And England and Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has been named on a 10-man shortlist for the new Kopa Trophy for players under the age of 21.
Kane captained his country to the semi-finals of the summer’s World Cup in Russia, and finished as the tournament’s top-scorer with six goals.
Bale scored twice in Real’s Champions League final win over Liverpool in May.
Ronaldo, who last week firmly denied allegations of rape, was also part of that triumph before moving to Juventus in July.
Another man on the list who was part of Real’s Champions League success is Luka Modric, who went on to lead Croatia on their run to the World Cup final. They were beaten 4-2 in the final by France, and there are six of the victorious Les Bleus team on the list in Pogba, Lloris, Kante, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe – also nominated for the Kopa Trophy – and Real’s Raphael Varane.
The Ballon d’Or, now separate from FIFA’s own player of the year award, is bestowed annually by France Football magazine. Modric won the 2018 FIFA men’s award last month, while the women’s award went to Brazil forward Marta, another Women’s Ballon d’Or award nominee.
Nominees: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Alisson Becker (Liverpool), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Edinson Cavani (Paris St Germain), Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Isco (Real Madrid), Harry Kane (Tottenham), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (Paris St Germain), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Neymar (Paris St Germain), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Luis Suarez (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid).