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Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are once again nominated for Ballon d'Or award.

The 33-year-old forward, who ended his nine-season stay at Real Madrid by moving to Juventus for £99million in the summer, is a five-time victor of the award.

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.

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.

The first five Ballon d'Or nominees have been named and a number of Premier League players feature prominently on the list.

The award will be given on December.

Antoine Griezmann, a World Cup victor with France and Europa League champion at Atletico Madrid, is nominated alongside global teammates, Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante, Manchester United's Paul Pogba and PSG's Kylian Mbappe.




Other top players nominated for the award are, Neymar, Gareth Bale, Eden Hazard, Luka Modric and Harry Kane.

Also making the cut are Juve's Mario Mandzukic and Liverpool's Sadio Mane, while Barcelona are also represented by Croat defender Ivan Rakitic.

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.

A panel of journalists select the Ballon d'Or victor which was first established in 1956 and will this year feature a women's award for the first time.

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.

Sir Stanley Matthews won the first Ballon d'Or in 1956.


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