The likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Karim Benzema and Harry Kane are also part of the nominee list for the award.
Ballon d’Or season is in full swing, and the first nominations have been revealed!
It is 10 years since Juventus attacker Cristiano Ronaldo first won the award, marking the start of an unprecedented duopoly between the Portuguese and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.
The last winner outside of the superhuman pair is Kaka, the Brazilian playmaker who won the prize in 2007.
Defender Fabio Cannavaro was victorious in 2006, while Ronaldinho, Andriy Shevchenko and Pavel Nedved were successful in 2005, 2004 and 2003 respectively.
The last English winner was Michael Owen in 2001, but Ronaldo and Messi have established a stunning stranglehold, winning five each.
Only Michel Platini, Johann Cruyff and Marco van Basten have won three of the awards, while Germany duo Franz Beckenbauer and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Brazil’s Ronaldo, Spain’s Alfredo Di Stefano and England’s Kevin Keegan have won two apiece.
It remains to be seen, however, if Ronaldo or Messi will be successful again this year, after Luka Modric won the FIFA Best Men’s Player of the Year award.
Take a look at the first batch of nominees in GQBuzz ‘s slide list!
Sergio Aguero | Manchester City
Argentine striker Aguero top scored for Pep Guardiola’s side as they claimed the Premier League and League Cup last term, bagging 30 goals in 39 games. Has added eight in 11 so far this season.
Gareth Bale | Real Madrid
The Wales international scored a stunning double in the Champions League final as Real Madrid made it three successive European Cup victories.
Alisson Becker | Liverpool
The Brazil No.1 reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup and the semi-finals of the Champions League with Roma, before completing a £67million transfer to Liverpool in the summer.
Karim Benzema | Real Madrid
The 30-year-old forward was again a key man in Real Madrid’s success last term, scoring 12 and assisting 11 in his 47 games.
Edinson Cavani | PSG
The Uruguayan scored 40 times in 48 games for the French champions on their way to domestic dominance, while he also impressed at the World Cup as La Celeste reached the last eight. Another six goals in eight games for PSG so far this term.
Thibaut Courtois | Real Madrid
The Belgian international won the Golden Glove at the World Cup after starring during Belgium’s run to the bronze medal.
Cristiano Ronaldo | Juventus
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 an £89million move to Juventus.
The 33-year-old has scored four goals and registered five assists in nine games for the Bianconeri so far.
Kevin De Bruyne | Manchester City
The Belgian shone during the World Cup after an outstanding season for Manchester City, starring as they reached 100 points in the Premier League.
Roberto Firmino | Liverpool
Brazilian international Firmino was at the heart of Liverpool’s excellent run to last season’s Champions League final.
In 2017-18 he scored 27 goals and registered 17 assists for the Reds in 54 matches – an excellent return.
Diego Godin | Atletico Madrid
The no-nonsense defender continues to epitomise Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid side and captained them to Europa League success.
Also led Uruguay to a World Cup quarter-final, ultimately losing to winners France.
Antoine Griezmann | Atletico Madrid
Simeone says the Frenchman has been the best player in the world anywhere during the last 12 months and Griezmann can point to his Europa League and World Cup medals.
Bagged 29 times for Atleti last season and registered four during the World Cup – including the go ahead penalty in the final.
Harry Kane | Tottenham
The World Cup’s top goalscorer, Kane bagged six times at the finals to take the Golden Boot.
That came on the back of 41 goals in 48 games for Spurs last season. Is he the world’s best No.9?
Eden Hazard | Chelsea
Captained Belgium to third place at the World Cup and received the Silver Ball as the competition’s second best player having been magnificent throughout; his quarter-final display vs Brazil was arguably the best individual display in Russia.
Scored 17 times for Chelsea last season and has kicked on again this term, with eight in 10.
N’Golo Kante | Chelsea
Quite simply, if N’Golo Kante hadn’t played for France at the World Cup finals, it’s difficult to imagine them winning the whole thing.
The Chelsea midfielder was typically here, there and everywhere throughout the competition, and was a major reason for their success – despite a disappointing final where he was substituted early.
Isco | Real Madrid
The Spanish playmaker starred during Real Madrid’s latest Champions League success and has become integral for both club and country over the last 12 months.