Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Luka Modric and Mohamed Salah have made a 30-man shortlist of players nominated for the 2018 Ballon D’Or award.
The full list of top footballers was revealed on Monday by the organisers, France Football and L’Equipe.
Manchester City leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero was the first nominee of this year award and midfielder Kevin de Bruyne are also contenders, as are Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson and forward Robert Firmino.
Real Madrid star Gareth Bale and Aguero did not make the 30-man list last year, Benzema finished in 25th place and Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker was nominated for the first time.
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante are also on the 30-man list.
Last year’s Ballon d’Or ended with Ronaldo winning, Lionel Messi in second and Neymar in third.
The Ballon d’Or has been won by either Ronaldo or Messi for the past ten years, but this year’s event could see Croatian captain Luka Modric win the award, as the Real Madrid midfielder had won 2018 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award and FIFA world’s best male player award.
The award will be judged by a group of specialist journalists with one representative per country.
The Kopa Award will also be voted upon by the 33 surviving winners of the Ballon d’Or, among them Cristiano Ronaldo, Leo Messi, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Luis Figo and Liberian President George Weah.
The 2018 Ballon d’Or will be the 53rd annual award recognising the best male footballer in the world for 2018, this year’s award ceremony will also feature 15 contenders for the Women’s Ballon d’Or and the 10 under-21 players who will opt for the inaugural Kopa Award.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Paris on Monday, December 3.
Ballon d’Or 2018 nominees in full:
Sergio Agüero (Manchester City)
Alisson Becker (Roma/Liverpool)
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Edinson Cavani (PSG)
Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea/Real Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Juventus)
Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)
Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
Diego Godín (Atlético)
Antoine Griezmann (Atlético)
Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Francisco Alarcón ‘Isco’ (Real Madrid)
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
N´Golo Kanté (Chelsea)
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur)
Mario Mandzukic (Juventus)
Sadio Mané (Liverpool)
Marcelo (Real Madrid)
Kylian Mbappé (PSG)
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Jan Oblak (Atlético Madrid)
Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
Ivan Rakitic (FC Barcelona)
Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid)
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
Luis Suarez (FC Barcelona)
10 nominees for the Kopa Trophy:
Houssem Aouar (Lyon/midfielder)
Ritsu Doan (FC Groningen/midfielder)
Amadou Haidara (Red Bull Salzburg/midfielder)
Justin Kluivert (Ajax/midfielder)
Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/striker)