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

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Nominees For Ballon d'Or Revealed – Part 1 Nominees For France Football's Ballon d'Or Revealed – Part 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 > by David K

Kane, the only English player to be named so far, is also up against Ronaldo's former Real Madrid team-mate Gareth Bale and Chelsea duo Eden Hazard and N'Golo Kante.

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne are contenders while Liverpool's formidable top three Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino were all included.

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.

Mbappe scored 21 goals for Paris Saint-Germain last season before starring in France's triumphant Russian Federation 2018 campaign, netting three times on their way to the final and then again in the 4-2 win over Croatia that sealed their second World Cup triumph.

The Tottenham striker captained England to their first World Cup semi-final in 28 years in Russian Federation this summer.

De Bruyne was the best midfielder in the Premier League last season and arguably the best player in the all-conquering Manchester City side that won a domestic double, shattering records before lifting the Premier League trophy.

Courtois is included after a season in which he won the FA Cup with Chelsea and came third at the World Cup with Belgium - winning the Golden Glove - before he moved to Real Madrid.

A total of 30 players will make up the shortlist for the award, which was won by Cristiano Ronaldo in 2017.

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.

De Bruyne was nominated for helping his club win the Premier League and his country reach the World Cup semi-finals.

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