Bale, De Bruyne among first Ballon d'Or nominees

Gareth Bale is one of the first nominees for the 2018 Ballon d'or

Gareth Bale is one of the first nominees for the 2018 Ballon d'or

Five-time victor Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Antoine Griezmann lead the shortlist for football's most prestigious individual prize, while Kylian Mbappe is the standout in the race for the new Kopa Trophy for young players.

The first five nominees revealed were Sergio Aguero, Alisson, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Edinson Cavani.

The latest candidates, who are being revealed in alphabetical order, include Thibaut Courtois, 2017 victor Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin De Bruyne, Roberto Firmino and Diego Godin.

The individual honour, which is European football's oldest having been awarded every year since 1956, has been won by either Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi for the past 10 years - with each winning a record five.

Bale is now the main man at Real following Ronaldo's summer switch to Juventus and he will hope he has done enough for his first Ballon d'Or.

Toyota recalls 2.4 million Prius hybrids that could stall while driving
The cars are created to enter a fail-safe or "limp home" driving mode if the hybrid system overheats or develops other issues. The company said Friday that in rare cases the vehicles might fail to enter a "failsafe" driving mode, lose power and stall.

Ronaldo played a key role in Real's Champions League triumph last season and scored a World Cup hat-trick for Portugal against Spain.

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.

Modric's worldwide team-mates Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Rakitic are also on the shortlist, as are Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

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.

For the first time ever, France Football is giving out a women's Ballon d'Or, with Germany's Dzsenifer Marozsan and Brazilian Marta among the top names in the running.

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