First five nominees for Ballon d'Or announced

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First five nominees for Ballon d'Or announced

Then came Bale, who scored twice in the Champions League final - along with Real Madrid teammate and fellow scorer, Karim Benzema.

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

SkyBet have installed him as the 4/7 favourite to be named 2018 Ballon d'Or victor.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Paris on Monday December 3, with television coverage from 20:45 CET.

Kante was also part of France's victorious side in Russian Federation, while Isco helped Real Madrid to win a third consecutive Champions League.

Chelsea and Belgium star Hazard is included after impressing for club and country throughout the previous year, while Griezmann, a Europa League and World Cup victor with Atletico Madrid and France respectively, is one of the favourites for the award.

We will keep you updated on the rest of the nominees as they are released which is expected to include an array of football icons such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, Kylian Mbappé and Neymar.

Men's shortlist so far: are Sergio Aguero from Argentina, Manchester City; Alisson Becker from Brazil, Liverpool; Gareth Bale from Wales, Real Madrid; Karim Benzema from France, Real Madrid.

Real Madrid midfielder Isco, Liverpool's Brazilian 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.

The Ballon d'Or, which was first won by Englishman Stanley Matthews in 1956, is decided by a ballot of journalists from around the world.

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