Embattled Ronaldo nominated for Ballon d’Or, but Modric now bookies’ favorite

Ballon d'Or LIVE updates- Bale and Aguero among first nominees

The names are released in groups of five throughout the day, with the full 30-player shortlist eventually being drawn up ahead of the awards ceremony in Paris on 3 December.

Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Juventus from Real Madrid in the summer, won last year's Ballon d'Or.

During the turn of the decade FIFA and Ballon d'Or merged together and was presented as one prestigious award but that association came to an end in 2016.

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

The Croatian had a stellar year, leading his country to an unlikely World Cup final while also winning a third-consecutive Champions League title.

Two goalkeepers are also among the first 15 - Thibaut Courtois of Belgium and Real Madrid and Liverpool and Brazil stopper Alisson Becker.

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Sergio Aguero (Argentina/Manchester City), Alisson Becker (Brazil/Liverpool), Gareth Bale (Wales/Real Madrid), Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay/Paris Saint-Germain).

Real Madrid midfielder Isco, Liverpool's Brazilian Roberto Firmino and Uruguay's rugged defender Diego Godin of Atletico Madrid also got the nod.

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne are contenders while Liverpool's formidable top three Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino were all included.

Brazil's Marta, crowned best women's player for a record sixth time at last month's Federation Internationale de Football Association awards, is also in contention after her role in winning the Copa America.

The Ballon d'Or, which was first won by Englishman Stanley Matthews in 1956, is decided by a ballot of journalists from around the world.

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