France Football has released the 30 nominees for the 2018 Ballon d’Or award! Take a look at their Twitter announcement below:
The eligibility for the Ballon’d’Or has undergone several changes since its conception in 1956. As we all know, the award is presented to the player who has performed the best over the previous year based on voting by football journalists. Originally, it was only for players from Europe. Almost 40 years later in 1995, the rules expanded to include players of any nationality who had been active in European clubs. At this point, it was still very Euro-centric (not too surprising, considering it is organized by a French football magazine). Finally, in recognition of the budding talent from all around the world, all professional footballers from around the world became eligible.
While these rules have allowed players like Mo Salah (Egypt), Sadio Mane (Senegal), and even Lionel Messi (Argentina) to be eligible, all players who are nominated this year are still from European clubs. Of the 30 nominees, 7 are from France and a whopping 9 played – at some point this year – for Real Madrid.
A closer look at the nominees
There’s a lot of contention and discussion over who doesn’t deserve to be on the list, and who should have been instead. Of course, players like Messi, Ronaldo, Modrić, and Mbappé are uncontested. It’s just a matter of which one of them deserves it the most.
Many are hoping to break the monopoly that Ronaldo and Messi have had on the award for the past 10 years.
Modrić is an early favorite at this point, having won the World Cup Golden Ball and the Best FIFA Men’s Player awards. We all remember the subtle shade back in FIFA awards season when Messi voted for Ronaldo (albeit his third choice) but Ronaldo didn’t vote for Messi at all. What they did share though was a place for Modrić.
22/30👌 Luka Modric 🇭🇷 Croatia ⚽ Midfielder 📍 @realmadrid 3⃣3⃣ years old The nominees ▶ https://t.co/y3VLt9O2WY #ballondor pic.twitter.com/jf1GUMylt9 — #ballondor (@francefootball) October 8, 2018
There are a few others on the list, however, that many fans are asking why they’re there in the first place. Check out this discussion to see where the fans stand on this year’s nominees. In the meantime, you have people like this guy who just decided to shed doubt on everyone:
In other news, France Football will be awarding the Ballon d’Or for Women’s Football for the first time ever this year! Check out their 15 nominees below:
This could be a very interesting year for the Ballon d’Or!