Usual suspects among Ballon d’Or nominees

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Wales forward Gareth Bale and England striker Harry Kane are among the nominees for the 2018 Ballon d'Or, BBC Sport reports.

De Bruyne was nominated for helping City win the Premier League and Belgium reach the World Cup semi-finals.

Kane, the only English player to be named so far, is also up against Ronaldo's former Real Madrid team-mate Gareth Bale and Chelsea duo Eden Hazard and N'Golo Kante.

Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero and PSG's Neymar are nominated as are two other prolific South American strikers: Uruguayans Edinson Cavani of PSG and Luis Suarez of Barcelona.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and The Best FIFA's Men's Player award victor Luka Modric all made the list, along with Premier League stars Eden Hazard, Mohamed Salah and Harry Kane.

The Spain worldwide, who was named in the FIFA FIFPro World 11 last month, has not been included in the latest group of five nominees for France Football's individual prize. The award ceremony takes place on December 3.

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Some of them might have been pursued by Chinese authorities under Meng's watch as vice minister for public security . Meng had lived with his wife and two children in Lyon since being elected Interpol president in 2016.

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin also make the final nominees, released throughout Monday by French magazine France Football.

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne are contenders while Liverpool's formidable top three Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino were all included.

Brazil's Marta, crowned best women's player for a record sixth time at last month's Federation Internationale de Football Association awards, is also in contention after her role in winning the Copa America.

In another first, the best under-21 player will receive the Kopa Trophy.

A panel of journalists select the Ballon d'Or victor which was first established in 1956 and will this year feature a women's award for the first time.

Sir Stanley Matthews won the first Ballon d'Or in 1956.

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