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Ronaldo among first nominees for Ballon d’Or award

Ronaldo among first nominees for Ballon d’Or award”

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.

Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero, Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema and Paris St-Germain attacker Edinson Cavani are also contenders.

The Portuguese has won the award for the past two years and five times in total, a record he shares with Argentine Lionel Messi who is expected to be included on the 30 man shortlist named throughout the day.

Specialist magazine France Football, which has awarded the prize since 1956, announced the 30 nominees for the calendar year trophy, among whom a victor will be chosen by a group of respected football journalists from around the world.

But the Atletico Madrid man is clearly hoping that he or his countrymen get recognised later in the year, adding, "I think the Ballon d'Or has more prestige, a richer history".

There were seven Frenchmen named on the list after helping Les Bleus win their second World Cup in Russian Federation this summer.

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

The victor will be announced in Paris on 3 December with a women's victor awarded for the first time.

The 33-year-old won the FIFA The Best award earlier in the year, pipping Ronaldo and Salah to the trophy.

Kylian Mbappe is third-favourite after winning the World Cup with France at the age of 19, with 6-1 odds.



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