The 2018 Ballon d'Or nominees have been revealed

Laurence Griffiths/Getty ImagesFrance football has released the list of 30 players in contention for the 2018 Ballon d’Or.
  • Each year, France Football awards its most prestigious trophy – the Ballon d’Or – to the world’s best men’s soccer player.
  • Throughout the day on Monday, France Football released the list of 30 players in consideration for the 2018 Ballon d’Or, including Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo, and Paris St. Germain’s Neymar.
  • France Football also unveiled the 15-person shortlist for its first-ever women’s Ballon d’Or Monday afternoon.

Each year, France Football awards its most prestigious trophy – the Ballon d’Or – to the world’s best men’s soccer player. The organisation revealed the 30 players in contention for the 2018 Ballon d’Or throughout the day Monday, and many of the biggest names in soccer have made the list.

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo has taken the trophy home in each of the last two years, but Portugal’s early departure from the World Cup combined with his rocky start with new club Juventus and the recent rape allegations levied against him could doom his chances at a three-peat.

Lionel Messi – who also has five Ballons d’Or – could reclaim the honour for the first time since 2015, but his inability to lead Argentina to success at the World Cup has undoubtedly dampened his chances.

Likewise, Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar is an unlikely pick to break through to win his first Ballon d’Or this year due to his international performances. Brazil failed to live up to expectations for the 2018 World Cup, falling to Belgium in a major quarterfinal upset.

The favourite to win the 2018 Ballon d’Or, however, is midfielder Luka Modric. The Real Madrid veteran captained Croatia to its first ever World Cup final, after which he earned the Golden Ball as the best player in the tournament. Modric has already earned FIFA World Player of the Year honours and is widely expected to add the Ballon d’Or to his collection of awards after posting an absolutely stellar year. Messi and Ronaldo have had a monopoly on the Ballon d’Or for the past decade, but Modric may be the man to end their collective reign.

France Football also released the shortlist of players nominated to receive the first-ever women’s Ballon d’Or, which includes five-time FIFA World Player of the Year winner Marta, Australian blackflipper and all-time NWSL leading scorer Sam Kerr, and U.S. Women’s National Team captain Megan Rapinoe. Lyon dominated with seven of fifteen nominees playing for the club.

Check out the complete list of men’s and women’s Ballon d’Or nominees:

Men’s nominees:

Sergio Agüero (ARG / Manchester City)
Alisson (BRE / Liverpool)
Gareth Bale (GAL / Real Madrid)
Karim Benzema (FRA / Real Madrid)
Edinson Cavani (URU / PSG)
Thibaut Courtois (BEL / Chelsea)
Cristiano Ronaldo (POR / Juventus Turin)
Kevin De Bruyne (BEL / Manchester City)
Roberto Firmino (BRE / Liverpool)
Diego Godin (URU / Atlético Madrid)
Antoine Griezmann (FRA / Atlético Madrid)
Eden Hazard (BEL / Chelsea)
Isco (ESP / Real Madrid)
Harry Kane (ANG / Tottenham)
N’Golo Kanté (FRA / Chelsea)
Hugo Lloris (FRA / Tottenham)
Mario Mandzukic (CRO / Juventus Turin)
Sadio Mané (SEN / Liverpool)
Marcelo (BRE / Real Madrid)
Kylian Mbappé (FRA / PSG)
Lionel Messi (ARG / FC Barcelone)
Luka Modric (CRO / Real Madrid)
Neymar (BRA / PSG)
Jan Oblak (SLO / Atlético Madrid)
Paul Pogba (FRA / Manchester United)
Ivan Rakitic (CRO / FC Barcelone)
Mohamed Salah (EGY / Liverpool)
Sergio Ramos (ESP / Real Madrid)
Luis Suarez (URU / FC Barcelone)
Raphaël Varane (FRA / Real Madrid)

Women’s nominees:

Lucy Bronze (ENG / Lyon)
Pernille Harder (DEN / Wolfsburg)
Ada Hegerberg (NOR / Lyon)
Amandine Henry (FRA / Lyon)
Lindsey Horan (USA / Portland)
Sam Kerr (AUS / Chicago)
Fran Kirby (ENG / Chelsea)
Saki Kumagai (JPN / Lyon)
Dzsenifer Marozsan (GER / Lyon)
Amel Majri (FRA / Lyon)
Marta (BRA / Orlando)
Lieke Martens (NED / Barcelona)
Megan Rapinoe (USA / Seattle)
Wendie Renard (FRA / Lyon)
Christine Sinclair (CAN / Portland)

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