FIFA handed out it’s ‘The Best’ prize for the men’s best footballer, awarding it to Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric, in September.
But since 1956, the biggest individual prize has always been the Ballon d’Or. Dominated in the last decade by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – the duo winning all 10 of the last awards – the Golden Ball is once more on offer in Paris on December 3.
First won by Sir Stanley Matthews, the list is compiled by the editorial staff of the French publication France Football, with the winner voted for by journalists from around the world, with one representative per nation.
Real Madrid and Wales forward Gareth Bale is among the nominees for this year’s men’s Ballon d’Or award.
Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne and striker Sergio Aguero are also contenders, as are Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson and forward Robert Firmino.
The Ballon d’Or, a prestigious award presented since 1956, is given to the best player of the year.
The ceremony to announce the winner will take place in Paris on 3 December, when a women’s award will be presented for the first time.
Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Juventus from Real Madrid in the summer, won last year’s Ballon d’Or and is again a contender.
Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin, Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema and keeper Thibaut Courtois, and Paris St-Germain attacker Edinson Cavani are the other nominees to have been named so far.
Real Madrid’s all-time record goalscorer and last year’s Ballon d’Or holder, Ronaldo won a fifth Champions League crown in 2018 before leaving Los Blancos in a £89million move to Juventus.
The 33-year-old has scored four goals and registered five assists in nine games for the Bianconeri so far.
The second favourite with bookmakers – will he gather the sixth crown?