Modric v Ronaldo rematch as Ballon d'Or nominees unveiled

Modric v Ronaldo rematch as Ballon d'Or nominees unveiled

Modric v Ronaldo rematch as Ballon d'Or nominees unveiled

Ronaldo, now facing allegations of rape dating back to 2009 that he strenuously denies, has already won the Ballon d'Or five times and is the current holder of the award.

Real Madrid and Wales forward Gareth Bale and Manchester City's Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne also featured among a list of familiar names.

Chelsea midfielder Kante was a pivotal figure in France's World Cup success and helped his club win the FA Cup in May.

Other top players nominated for the award are, Neymar, Gareth Bale, Eden Hazard, Luka Modric and Harry Kane.

Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Juventus from Real Madrid in the summer, won last year's Ballon d'Or and is again a contender. The award ceremony takes place on December 3.

Two goalkeepers are also among the first 15 - Thibaut Courtois of Belgium and Real Madrid and Liverpool and Brazil stopper Alisson Becker.

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Five-time victor Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Antoine Griezmann lead the shortlist for football's most prestigious individual prize, while Kylian Mbappe is the standout in the race for the new Kopa Trophy for young players.

Remember the criteria for the Ballon d'Or are: the players' performances during the calendar year, their talent and fair play, and their achievements throughout their career.

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

But a combination of apparent voter fatigue, Croatia's fairytale run, and recent rape allegations against the Portuguese star have lessened his chances with the bookies, with Modric, who captured the rival FIFA Best Player award last month, now considered the odds-on favorite.

The award merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year prize from 2010-2015 to create the FIFA Ballon d'Or, but returned to France Football magazine in 2016 while FIFA established The Best awards.

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