Roberto Firmino and Eden Hazard make Ballon d'Or shortlist

Gareth Bale

While Messi, who last won the prize in 2015, enjoyed another year of stellar goalscoring feats, Barcelona's early Champions League exit and Argentina's failure to make the last eight of the World Cup have likely ruled him out of contention.

Defender Fabio Cannavaro was victorious in 2006, while Ronaldinho, Andriy Shevchenko and Pavel Nedved were successful in 2005, 2004 and 2003 respectively. Messi has also won the award on five occasions.

France Football, who handed out the FIFA Ballon d'Or in conjunction with FIFA between 2010 and 2015, are back to announcing their own award - the famous Golden Ball.

Antoine Griezmann is one of the great favorites to take the prize due to his triumphs in the Europe League, the UEFA Super Cup title and, above all, the World Cup in Russian Federation, where he was one of the most outstanding players.

Other top players nominated for the award are, Neymar, Gareth Bale, Eden Hazard, Luka Modric and Harry Kane.

The Ballon d'Or is considered the greatest personal accolade a player can achieve and this year's awards ceremony will take place in Paris on December 3.

Brett Kavanaugh confirmed to Supreme Court
But Democrats hope women angered at the Kavanaugh accusations will turn out in large numbers to vote out Republicans. Her comments at The New Yorker Festival seemed to indicate that other viable candidate might exist in the state.

Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero, Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema and Paris St-Germain attacker Edinson Cavani are also contenders.

Roberto Firmino from Brazil, Liverpool and Diego Godin from Uruguay, Atletico Madrid.

Thirty players will be announced on the shortlist for the 2018 award.

PSG's Mbappe appears a dead certainty for the newly-introduced Kopa Trophy, which rewards the best players under 21, and is voted on by previous Ballon d'Or winners.

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 victor will be announced on December 3.

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