Ballon d'Or 2018: Kane joins Hazard and Griezmann on shortlist

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Modric, a World Cup runner-up with Croatia, beat Juventus' Ronaldo and Salah to win the Federation Internationale de Football Association prize last month after Messi was surprisingly left off the final three-man list.

Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero was the first nominee after winning the Premier League, Carabao Cup and Community Shield, scoring 26 goals in 33 games in 2018 for club and country.

Modric has plenty of company from Real Madrid among the nominees, with Sergio Ramos, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Isco and Los Blancos newcomer Thibaut Courtois picked for the shortlist.

The Juventus forward, now facing allegations of rape dating back to 2009 that he strenuously denies, has already won the Ballon d'Or five times and is the current holder of the award.

Federation Internationale de Football Association split from the Ballon d'Or in 2016 to launch its own set of awards.

Eden Hazard gives Chelsea another player in the running after starring alongside De Bruyne at the World Cup, with England's Golden Boot victor Harry Kane also included.

Big Match Focus: Liverpool v Manchester City
Have Liverpool planted that seed in City's heads? "I see his teams playing and I know that is really exceptional. We shouldn't need the police to protect the bus", said the Spaniard.

Chelsea and Belgium star Hazard is included after impressing for club and country throughout the previous year, while Griezmann, a Europa League and World Cup victor with Atletico Madrid and France respectively, is one of the favourites for the award.

England only have one representative on the list in Harry Kane while Gareth Bale is also among the nominees.

However, Modric won UEFA's Player of the Year and FIFA's the Best award, and is arguably the favourite heading in.

The Ballon d'Or, a prestigious award presented since 1956, is given to the best player of the year and this year's ceremony will take place in Paris on 3 December.

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.

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