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Ballon d'Or dates, nominees and past winners

BALLON D'OR: Sergio and KDB are both up for this year's prestigious award

BALLON D'OR: Sergio and KDB are both up for this year's prestigious award

Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne have been nominated for this year’s Ballon d’Or. Here’s everything you need to know about the award.

The Ballon d’Or, one of the most prestigious individual prizes in world football, has been awarded every year since 1956.

Sir Stanley Matthews was the inaugural winner, beating Alfredo Di Stefano to the award. Since then, the list of winners reads like a who's who of the game's greatest-ever players. 

Since 2008, the award has been passed between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, with the pair picking up five apiece. Previous winners include Lev Yashin, Denis Law, Eusebio, Johan Cruyff, Gerd Muller, Kevin Keegan, Marco van Basten, Roberto Baggio, Zinedine Zidane and Rivaldo. 

Nominees are decided by editorial staff at France Football and this year’s 30-man list has now been decided, with both Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne named for their excellence during City’s Centurion season.

This year’s winner will be announced at a ceremony in Paris on 3 December, when a women’s award will be presented for the first time.

Here, we take a look at some of the reasons the panel decided to nominate Aguero and De Bruyne.

Sergio Aguero

It was yet another stellar season for Sergio in 2017-18.

City's all-time leading scorer with 207 goals, he bagged 30 in 39 matches across all competitions - including 21 in 25 Premier League games as City won the title with a record 100 points. 

Premier League highlights included brilliant hat-tricks against Watford (a) and Newcastle (h), as well as four against Leicester (h).

And his lob over Arsenal 'keeper David Ospina from Claudio Bravo's wonderful long-ball saw him open the scoring in the League Cup final, which City went on to win 3-0. 

He also scored twice in four matches as Argentina made it to the World Cup last-16. 

Kevin De Bruyne

De Bruyne continues to dazzle and is now widely considered to be the finest creative midfielders in the game. 

He appeared in 52 games for City during our league-and-cup winning campaign, scoring 12 times and assisting a remarkable 21. 

Indeed, his fine through-ball for Gabriel Jesus' winner against Southampton on the last day helped City become the first side to achieve 100 Premier League points and saw De Bruyne win the inaugural Premier League Playmaker Award for the highest number of assists.  

He was also a key player as Belgium finished third at this summer's World Cup finals. 

Full list of 2018 Ballon d'Or nominees:

Sergio Aguero: Striker, Argentina & Manchester City

Alisson: Goalkeeper, Brazil & Liverpool

Gareth Bale: Forward, Wales & Real Madrid

Karim Benzema: Forward, France & Real Madrid

Kevin de Bruyne: Midfielder, Belgium & Manchester City

Edinson Cavani: Forward, Uruguay & Paris St-Germain

Thibaut Courtois: Goalkeeper, Belgium & Real Madrid

Roberto Firmino: Forward, Brazil & Liverpool

Diego Godin: Defender, Uruguay & Atletico Madrid

Antoine Griezmann: Forward, France & Atletico Madrid

Eden Hazard: Forward, Belgium & Chelsea

Isco: Midfielder, Spain & Real Madrid

Harry Kane: Forward, England & Tottenham

N'Golo Kante: Midfielder, France & Chelsea

Hugo Lloris: Goalkeeper, France & Tottenham

Mario Mandzukic: Forward, Croatia & Juventus

Sadio Mane: Forward, Senegal & Liverpool

Marcelo: Defender, Brazil & Real Madrid

Kylian Mbappe: Forward, France & Paris St-Germain

Lionel Messi: Forward, Argentina & Barcelona

Luka Modric: Midfielder, Croatia & Real Madrid

Neymar: Forward, Brazil & Paris St-Germain

Jan Oblak: Goalkeeper, Slovenia & Atletico Madrid

Paul Pogba: Midfielder, France & Manchester United

Cristiano Ronaldo: Forward, Portugal & Juventus

Ivan Rakitic: Midfielder, Croatia & Barcelona

Sergio Ramos: Defender, Spain & Real Madrid

Mohamed Salah: Midfielder, Egypt & Liverpool

Luis Suarez: Forward, Uruguay & Barcelona

Raphael Varane: Defender, France & Real Madrid

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