Ballon d'Or: Saul backs Atletico Madrid team-mate Antoine Griezmann for top honours

Ballon d'Or LIVE updates- Bale and Aguero among first nominees

Modric, a World Cup runner-up with Croatia, beat Juventus' Ronaldo and Salah to win the Federation Internationale de Football Association prize last month after Messi was surprisingly left off the final three-man list.

Chelsea's Eden Hazard and N'GoloKante are also on the 30-man list, which is being revealed five players at a time.

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.

France won the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation, and seven players of the squad made the 30 man nominees for the 2018 Ballon d'Or.

France Football released its list of thirty nominees for the 2018 edition of the prestigious Ballon d'Or award in separate intervals on Monday.

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The victor is voted for by 173 journalists around the world, with one representative per nation, while the list of nominees is compiled by the editorial staff of the French publication.

The Ballon d'Or, which was first won by Englishman Stanley Matthews in 1956, is decided by a ballot of journalists from around the world.

Every Ballon d'Or since 2008 has been won by either Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi and the pair are both among the favourites again this year.

The Spain global, 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.

At Fifa's awards in September, Croatia and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric was named the world's best male player, while Brazil and Orlando Pride forward Marta won the best female player award.

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