Bale, De Bruyne among first Ballon d'Or nominees

Gareth Bale

"There is a difference between [Gareth] Bale and Cristiano, who has made the difference for the last 10 years".

But Griezmann is adamant a French player deserves the prize after winning football's premier trophy this summer.

The Spain worldwide, 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.

Back in May, Salah looked on course to be in contention for 2018's Ballon d'Or.

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.

Victory in the Champions League for the third consecutive season and their players among the World Cup finalists in Russian Federation have resulted in the Spanish side being well represented.




Salah's nomination was no surprise after his incredible debut season with Liverpool last term, as he scored 44 goals in all competitions, 32 of which were scored in the Premier League, making him the leagues top scorer.

Real Madrid have two players in the Ballon d'Or nominees - Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema while PSG star Edison Cavani become the final contender.

Liverpool's Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino and Uruguay's rugged defender Diego Godin of Atletico Madrid also got the nod. "He can play at any club in the world".

The victor will be announced in Paris on 3 December with a women's victor awarded for the first time.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Paris on Monday December 3, with television coverage from 20:45 CET.

Other nominees are Pernille Harder, Lindsey Horan, Fran Kirby, Sam Kerr, Lieke Martens, Megan Rapinoe and Christine Sinclair.

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