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No trophies are handed out in December, at least
on a team basis, but one of football’s biggest
personal accolades is about to go on the line in
Paris.

The Ballon d’Or is awarded to the best player
applying his trade in Europe, but is often
considered the ultimate prize on a personal level
for any footballer.

Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or four
times including last time out in 2016
This year’s event billed for Thursday December 7
according to Sportsmail gets going from 6.45pm
GMT or at 7.45pm local time in Paris where it
will be held.

But arrivals on the red carpet are expected a
couple of hours in advance as the sea of stars
arrive for the prestigious show
Up until 2009, Ballon d’Or ran alongside FIFA’s
World player of the Year until FIFA took over the
former, and ended the latter.
Between 2010 and 2015 the Ballon d’Or featured
under a FIFA banner in their awards ceremony,
but new FIFA president Gianni Infantino wanted
to revert to the old system.
Just about all the best players you can think of
off the top of your head. There are seven
Premier League players in contention including
Harry Kane, Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne.

But realistically the usual big guns of Cristiano
Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are expected to go
head to head for the award.
Either one or the other has been picking up the
award since 2008. While Messi has the slight
majority with five, Ronaldo triumphed back in
2016.

Having helped Real Madrid become the first team
to defend the Champions League as well as win
the Spanish top flight, Ronaldo will be favourite
to win again – especially after having already
won FIFA’s best player award in October too.

Below is the list of all the contenders;

Neymar – Paris Saint-Germain
N’Golo Kante – Chelsea
Luka Modric – Real Madrid
Paulo Dybala – Juventus
Marcelo – Real Madrid
Edin Dzeko – Roma
Harry Kane – Tottenham
David De Gea – Manchester United
Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich
Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City
Karim Benzema – Real Madrid
Pierre-Emerick Aubemyang – Borussia Dortmund
Edinson Cavani – Paris Saint-Germain
Lionel Messi – Barcelona
Mats Hummels – Bayern Munich
Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool
Luis Suarez – Barcelona
Jan Oblak – Atletico Madrid
Sergio Ramos – Real Madrid
Dries Mertens – Napoli
Radamel Falcao – Monaco
Sadio Mane – Liverpool
Gianluigi Buffon – Juventus
Antoine Griezmann – Atletico Madrid
Toni Kroos – Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid
Eden Hazard – Chelsea
Leonardo Bonucci – AC Milan
Isco – Real Madrid
Kylian Mbappe – Paris Saint-Germain

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