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Ballon d’Or: Gareth Bale Among First Five Nominees To Be Announced.

Real Madrid and Wales forward Gareth Bale is among the nominees for this year’s men’s Ballon d’Or award.

Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne and striker Sergio Aguero are also contenders, as are Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson and forward Robert Firmino.

The 30-man list of nominees will be revealed throughout the day.

The Ballon d’Or, a prestigious award presented since 1956, is given to the best player of the year.

The ceremony to announce the winner will take place in Paris on 3 December, when a women’s award will be presented for the first time.

Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Juventus from Real Madrid in the summer, won last year’s Ballon d’Or and is again a contender.

Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin, Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema and keeper Thibaut Coutois, and Paris St-Germain attacker Edinson Cavani are the other nominees to have been named so far.

What is the Ballon d’Or?

The Ballon d’Or has been awarded by France Football every year since 1956, with former England international Sir Stanley Matthews the first winner.

The list is compiled by the editorial staff of the French publication, with the winner voted for by journalists from around the world, with one representative per nation.

For six years it combined with world football’s governing body to become the Fifa Ballon d’Or.

However, Fifa ended its association with the award in September 2016.

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