Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Aguero are among the nominees for the 2018 Ballon d’Or after the first 10 players in contention for the award were announced on Monday, per France Football
The Manchester City and Juventus forwards are joined by Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale, who scored twice as a substitute in last season’s UEFA Champions League final.
Liverpool lost the final to Bale and Real, but Reds goalkeeper Alisson Becker has also been nominated after moving to Anfield from AS Roma in the summer in a deal that eventually made him the second-most expensive stopper in history.
Bale’s Real team-mate Karim Benzema is also on the list, along with Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani, Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino and Atletico Madrid centre-back Diego Godin.
Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have monopolised the Ballon d’Or for the last 10 years.
Ronaldo won the award in 2017 as a Real Madrid player. He went on to help Los Blancos win the Champions League for a third year running, giving him five of the trophies for his career.
A £99.2 million switch to Juventus during this summer hasn’t stopped Ronaldo’s success in front of goal:
The Portuguese is facing allegations of sexual assault brought by Kathryn Mayorga, per German source Der Spiegel. Mayorga’s lawyer, Leslie Stovall, has said he’s been contacted by a second woman accusing Ronaldo of sexual assault
Of the other nominees, De Bruyne’s form for Manchester City makes him a strong contender. The playmaker not only helped Manchester City win last season’s Premier League title with a record 100 points, he was also the catalyst for Belgium finishing third at this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.