First five nominees for Ballon d'Or announced

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

Ballon d'Or 2018: Bale, Benzema and Agüero among first five

Meanwhile, the Ballon d'Or since 2008 has been won by either Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi and the pair are both among the favorites again this year. Messi has also won the award on five occasions.

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.

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

Mbappe scored 21 goals for Paris Saint-Germain last season before starring in France's triumphant Russian Federation 2018 campaign, netting three times on their way to the final and then again in the 4-2 win over Croatia that sealed their second World Cup triumph.

The likes of Luis Suarez, Sergio Ramos, N'Golo Kante and Eden Hazard have yet to get off the mark in terms of percentage of votes cast, while the FIFA "Best" award victor Luka Modric has also struggled for fan votes.

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).

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Arsenal have reportedly withdrawn their contract offer for the Welsh worldwide who has been at the club since 2008. We will enjoy it, we are working well and we want to continue like this.

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

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.

France internationals Amandine Henry, Amel Majri and Wendie Renard are joined on the list by Germany's Dzsenifer Marozsan, England's Lucy Bronze, Ada Hegerberg of Norway and Japan defender Saki Kumagai.

Other nominees are Pernille Harder, Lindsey Horan, Fran Kirby, Sam Kerr, Lieke Martens, Megan Rapinoe and Christine Sinclair.

"The best team in the world surely possesses the best player, right?"

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