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Premier League duo Roberto Firmino and Eden Hazard are among the nominees for the 2018 Ballon d'Or.

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.

The Ballon d'Or has been awarded by France Football every year since 1956, with former England worldwide Sir Stanley Matthews the first victor.

The 33-year-old forward, who ended his nine-season stay at Real Madrid by moving to Juventus for £99million in the summer, is a five-time victor of the award.

Alisson joined the club from AS Roma during the summer after helping the Serie A side reach the Champions League semi-finals last season and having represented Brazil at the World Cup.

Real Madrid and Wales forward Gareth Bale and Manchester City's Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne also featured among a list of familiar names.

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Then came Bale, who scored twice in the Champions League final - along with Real Madrid teammate and fellow scorer, Karim Benzema.

Liverpool's Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker, Frenchman Karim Benzema and Edinson Cavani completes the five-man list.

The Ballon d'Or, a prestigious award presented since 1956, is given to the best player of the year and this year's ceremony will take place in Paris on 3 December.

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

Mbappe scored 21 goals for Paris Saint-Germain last season before starring in France's triumphant Russian Federation 2018 campaign, netting three times on their way to the final and then again in the 4-2 win over Croatia that sealed their second World Cup triumph.

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. The two Ballon d'Or Awards will be decided by an global jury of journalists, with AS editor Alfredo Relaño again casting Spain's vote this year.


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