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The 30 Ballon d'Or nominees
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 09 - 10 - 2018

PARIS, Oct 9, 2018 (News Wires) - 'France Football' has released the initial list of players nominated to win FIFA's prestigious Ballon d'Or award. A total of 30 players will be selected throughout the day (30/30).
Mohamed Salah
The Egyptian enjoyed a stellar year with Liverpool, scoring over 40 goals and reaching the final of the Champions League.
Sergio Aguero
Manchester City's all time top goalscorer has been nominated for the award after his fine club form, where he won the Premier League, EFL Cup and the Community Shield at the Etihad.
Alisson Becker
The Liverpool goalkeeper moved from Roma for a world record fee at the time. He has since established himself as one of the Premier League's finest goalkeepers and helped Roma reach the semi-finals of the Champions League, famously knocking out Barcelona.
Gareth Bale
Bale has filled the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo at the Bernabeu and has proved Lopetegui right for having faith in the Welshman. The 29-year old was instrumental in Madrid's Champions League triumph, notably scoring an incredible overhead kick against Liverpool in Kiev.
Karim Benzema
Benzema scored 11 times in 32 LaLiga matches as he helped Real Madrid lift the Champions League during an impressive season. His two brace against Bayern Munich and opener in the final against Liverpool were vital for the club's success.
Edinson Cavani
Cavani has combined with Neymar and Kylian Mbappé at PSG with incredible effect. The trio has formed a formidable partnership and have enjoyed league and cup success in France. Cavani has scored 28 goals since last January in all competitions.
Thibaut Courtois
Courtois, who won FIFA's The Best Goalkeeper of the year, has been nominated for his brilliant season for Chelsea and Belgium at the World Cup. Real Madrid paid £35 million for the 26-year-old in the summer transfer window.
Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo played a key role in Real Madrid's Champions League success, most notably scoring an incredible overhead kick against Juventus in the quarter-finals in Turin. The five time Ballon d'Or winner then went on to join Juventus for £88 million.
Kevin De Bruyne
Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne has had a terrific season for the club. The Belgium international scored 11 goals plus 15 assists, helping Pep Guardiola's side break the record Premier League points total.
Roberto Firmino
Firmino was part of Liverpool's attack trio alongside Mo Salah and Sadio Mane. His winner against PSG in the Champions League this season is one of many highlights from the Brazilian.
Diego Godin
At 32, Diego Godin has aged like a fine wine. He plays a key role in the Atletico Madrid defence which is renowned for being so solid. He also represented Uruguay at the 2018 Russia World Cup.
Antoine Griezmann
What a year Griezmann has had! The Atletico Madrid star won the World Cup with France and the Super Cup against Real Madrid. He stayed loyal to Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid and turned down a summer move to Barcelona, with the 27-year-old impressing many with his strong start to the season.
Eden Hazard
Another player linked with a summer move, Hazard stayed in London and has been on fire this season! The Belgium international is the first player to be directly involved in 10 goals in the Premier League this season, scoring seven and assisting with three.
The Real Madrid man is hoping to win another award, with the 26-year-old being crowned FIFA's Golden Boy whilst at Malaga when he was younger. With Isco, Real Madrid are unbeaten in six, without Isco - the club have lost three and drawn one.
Harry Kane
No surprise that the World Cup top goalscorer is part of the 30. Since since 2014-15 Harry Kane has won the Man of the Match award 30 times!
N'Golo Kante
A World Cup winner and integral part of the Chelsea squad, N'Golo Kante's nomination is well deserved. The 27-year-old's tenacious play and humble character has seen him excel since leaving Leicester City.
Hugo Lloris
The Tottenham captain has had a superb year, winning the World Cup with France.
Mario Mandzukic
The Juventus striker had a fanastic year for club and country, winning Serie A and getting to the World Cup final.
Sadio Mane
The Senegalese forward had a great year with Liverpool, reaching the final of the Champions League.
The Brazilian full-back won his fourth Champions League with Real Madrid, forming a key part of their side.
Kylian Mbappe
The 19-year-old has had an incredible year, scoring in a World Cup final and moving to PSG for a world record fee.
Lionel Messi
The Barcelona forward has had a typically superb year, scoring 41 goals so far.
Luka Modric
The Croatian midfielder, who has already won the FIFA award for player of the year, won the Champions League with Real Madrid and reached the World Cup final with Croatia.
The Brazilian forward has had a fine year, helping PSG win the league in France.
Jan Oblak
The Atletico keeper is widely regarded as one of the best in the world, and he has kept more clean sheets than conceded goals for his club in the last four seasons.
Paul Pogba
The France midfielder won the World Cup with his country, scoring in the final and playing superbly throughout the tournament.
Ivan Rakitic
The midfielder had a fine season, reaching the World Cup final with Croatia and winning the league with Barcelona.
Sergio Ramos
The Spaniard won his fourth Champions League title with Real Madrid.
Luis Suarez
The Uruguayan had a great year, winning the league with Barcelona.
Raphael Varane
The France and Real Madrid defender won both the World Cup and the Champions League.

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