The Ballon d’Or list for 2018 was unveiled on Monday with a host of top talents set to battle it out for the award.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah were all included in the top 30 list.

The nominations for the Ballon d’Or sees a list of the 30 best footballers on the planet created by France Football. Real Madrid’s Luke Modric is in the running to be named the Ballon d’Or winner for 2018 after winning the FIFA Best award.

It all kicked off on Monday with the players being announced in batches of five at a time and you can see how it unfolded below.

Ballon d’Or RECAP

30/30 names released

Sergio Aguero, Alisson Becker, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Edinson Cavani

Thibaut Courtois, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin De Bruyne, Roberto Firmino, Diego Godin

Antoine Griezmann, Eden Hazard, Isco, Harry Kane, N’Golo Kante

Hugo Lloris, Mario Mandzukic, Sadio Mane, Marcelo, Kylian Mbappe

Lionel Messi, Luka Modric, Neymar, Jan Oblak, Paul Pogba

Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Ramos, Mohamed Salah, Luis Suarez, Raphael Varane

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders (Image: GETTY)

Final names announced

There we have it, the 30-man shortlist for this year’s Ballon d’Or award is complete.

Ivan Rakitic is on there having shone for Barcelona and starred in Croatia’s shock run to the World Cup final this year.

Sergio Ramos has been selected too, alongside the man he infamously clashed with as Real Madrid beat Liverpool in May’s Champions League final: Mohamed Salah.

Barcelona and Uruguay forward Luis Suarez is in the mix as well, as is Champions League and World Cup winner Raphael Varane of Real Madrid.

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders (Image: TWITTER/FRANCEFOOTBALL)

Messi up for a sixth Ballon d’Or

No prizes for guessing Lionel Messi was going to be in the running for football’s top individual gong.

The Barcelona star joins a whole host of top talent on the shortlist and is followed by FIFA Best Men’s Player Luka Modric, as well as former Nou Camp team-mate Neymar.

Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak is there too, as well as – and this is a surprise, despite his efforts as France won the World Cup – Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba

Mbappe on Ballon d’Or list

Kylian Mbappe, unsurprisingly, has also been named as a nominee for the Ballon d’Or having earlier found himself on the Kopa Trophy shortlist.

Two more Premier Leaue players have also made the cut with Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and Liverpool’s Sadio Mane announced.

Real Madrid defender Marcelo and Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic have also been included.

 

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders (Image: GETTY)

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders (Image: GETTY)

Women’s Ballon d’Or

England’s Lucy Bronze and Fran Kirby are among the nominees for the inaugural Women’s Ballon d’Or award.

Bronze was part of the Lyon side that won last season’s Champions League, while Kirby helped Chelsea to a Super League and FA Cup double.

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Brazil and Orlando Pride forward Marta, who won the best female player award at the Best Fifa Football Awards in London last month, also makes the list.

Kopa trophy nominees

The 10 nominees for the first ever Kopa Trophy have been announced, this is awarded to the best Under 21 player in the world.

The trophy is named after ex-France ace Raymond Kopa.

Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold is the only English representative.

Kopa Trophy nominees: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Houssem Aouar (Lyon), Patrick Cutrone (AC Milan), Ritsu Doan (FC Groningen), Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), Amadou Haidara (RB Salzburg), Justin Kluivert (AS Roma), Kylian Mbappé (PSG), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Rodrygo (Santos).

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders (Image: GETTY)

Eden Hazard to Real Madrid?

Does Eden Hazard have to move to Real Madrid before he can win the Ballon d’Or?

The Chelsea winger has been in sensational form for the Blues this season but recently admitted he wanted to leave the club after the World Cup.

And while he admits he faces a tough decision on his future, he admits a move to Los Blancos would fulfil his dream.

“I am really in the game, I am playing good football at the moment. Real Madrid is the best club in the world. I don’t want to lie today,” the 27-year-old said.

“It is my dream since I was a kid. I was dreaming about this club. We will see. I don’t want to talk about this every day.

“I don’t have time, but we will talk about my future soon. I think so. It is also when you have a dream and you want to make it happen.”

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders (Image: GETTY)

Ronaldo or Messi for the Ballon d’Or?

This may finally be the year and Lionel Messi see their Ballon d’Or supremacy ended.

Between them, Ronaldo and Messi have won each of the last 10 Ballon d’Ors.

Both men hold five awards and it seems unlikely that Messi will bag it this time. Ronaldo might after leading Real Madrid to Champions League glory in May.

But Luka Modric is the stand-out contender following his Champions League victory AND stellar outing at the World Cup with Croatia.

Still, Kylian Mbappe may run the midfielder close as he inspired France to World Cup glory.

Neymar, meanwhile, may not even make the top five.

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders (Image: GETTY)

Kane the first Englishman nominated

Here we are – we have our first Englishman of the top 30 as Harry Kane gets the nod.

Remember, he was top scorer at the World Cup this summer as England reached the semi-finals.

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard deservedly gets an inclusion following his excellent campaign in Russia, while France superstar N’Golo Kante – lauded in his hoe country for his efforts during Russia 2018 – is named.

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders (Image: GETTY)

Premier League players included

We’re 10 names into the Ballon d’Or list for 2018 and we’ve already got a number of Premier League stars included. Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero was the first name, as the list is in alphabetical order.

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Aguero once again banged in the goals for City last season but missed out on the PFA Player of the Year award, with fellow City team-mate Kevin De Bruyne also missing out on that award.

New Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson is included – largely thanks to his performances for Roma last term. And Roberto Firmino makes it four Prem players so far on the list.

However, three ex-Premier League players have been named at this stage: Cristiano Ronaldo, Thibaut Courtois and Gareth Bale.

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders (Image: GETTY)

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders (Image: GETTY)

Cristiano Ronaldo included

It’s not much of a surprise but here’s confirmation Cristiano Ronaldo is in the Ballon d’Or top 30 list.

This list is alphabetical, so France Football are evidently calling him Cristiano this year.

Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino and Kevin De Bruyne from Manchester City are also on the list.

Thibaut Courtois – now at Real Madrid – and Atletico Madrid’s Diego Godin make up the five newly named players.

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders (Image: GETTY)

Balon d’Or odds

The next update from the Ballon d’Or top 30 list is at 11am UK time.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at the betting for the 2018 Ballon d’Or.

Coral reckon Luka Modric is destined for the award, with the Croatian 4/7 to clinch it.

Cristiano Ronaldo is 9/4, with Kylian Mbappe at 5/2.

Lionel Messi (remember him?) is way out at 20/1, with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah at 33/1.

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders (Image: GETTY)

No Aubameyang

So, it appears as though France Football are releasing their nominees in alphabetical order.

It means Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hasn’t made the top 30, Andy Carroll is also out.

Peter Crouch is still feasibly in the running at this stage.

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders (Image: GETTY)

Bale on list

The first five names for the have been released on Monday morning.

And Gareth Bale is in there, as well as new Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson.

Alisson helped Roma reach the Champions League semi-finals last season and is the second-most expensive goalkeeper in history.

Karim Benzema, Edinson Cavani and Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero make up the first five.

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders

Ballon d’Or RECAP: Full list announced with Ronaldo, Messi, Salah, Modric among contenders (Image: GETTY)

Welcome

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the Ballon d’Or nominees.

Thirty players will be announced on the shortlist for the 2018 award.

And there is likely to be a host of footballers from the Premier League among the star-studded list.

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Daily Express :: Sport Feed

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