Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale nominated for 2018 Ballon d'Or award

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

The victor of the prestigious Ballon d'Or organised by France Football magazine will be announced on December 3.

The names are released in groups of five throughout the day, with the full 30-player shortlist eventually being drawn up ahead of the awards ceremony in Paris on 3 December.

The 33-year-old forward, who ended his nine-season stay at Real Madrid by moving to Juventus for £99million in the summer, is a five-time victor of the award.

The Ballon d'Or is run by France Football, after confirmation this year Fifa had broken away from the award.

De Bruyne was nominated for helping City win the Premier League and Belgium reach the World Cup semi-finals.

Ronaldo played a key role in Real's Champions League triumph last season and scored a World Cup hat-trick for Portugal against Spain.

Eden Hazard gives Chelsea another player in the running after starring alongside De Bruyne at the World Cup, with England's Golden Boot victor Harry Kane also included.

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Liverpool's Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker, Frenchman Karim Benzema and Edinson Cavani completes the five-man list.

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

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.

PSG's Mbappe appears a dead certainty for the newly-introduced Kopa Trophy, which rewards the best players under 21, and is voted on by previous Ballon d'Or winners.

A total of 30 players will make up the shortlist for the award, which was won by Cristiano Ronaldo in 2017.

The Ballon d'Or, which was first won by Englishman Stanley Matthews in 1956, is decided by a ballot of journalists from around the world.

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