Cristiano Ronaldo in contention for third successive Ballon d'Or

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Cristiano Ronaldo is in contention to retain the Ballon d’Or for the third successive year after being named on the 30-man shortlist.

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 winner of the award.

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

Nominees for the honour are being released gradually throughout Monday, with Manchester City pair Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne and Liverpool duo Alisson Becker and Roberto Firmino the current Premier League contenders.

Wales international Gareth Bale, scorer of a brace in Real’s European final win over Liverpool, is among the 10 names already released.

Bale’s club-mate Luka Modric, who is yet to be named as a candidate, is among the early favourites after Real’s European success against the Reds and leading Croatia to the World Cup final.

The honour, now separate from FIFA’s own Best player of the year award, is bestowed annually by France Football magazine.

Confirmed nominees: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Alisson Becker (Liverpool), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Edinson Cavani (Paris St Germain), Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid).

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Sergio Aguero, Gareth Bale and Alisson among first nominees for Ballon d'Or

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Gareth Bale, Sergio Aguero and Alisson Becker are among the first nominees announced for this year’s Ballon d’Or award.

The honour, now separate from FIFA’s own Best player of the year award, is bestowed annually by France football magazine with the 30 nominees announced in groups of five, in alphabetical order.

Wales star Bale – whose bicycle kick against Liverpool helped clinch the Champions League for Real Madrid – joined Manchester City striker Aguero and Liverpool keeper Alisson in the first batch.

Bale’s club-mate Karim Benzema and Paris St Germain striker Edinson Cavani were the other names in the initial quintet.

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Kylian Mbappe not satisfied with four-goal haul for record-breaking PSG

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Kylian Mbappe insisted he should have done better after his four-goal blitz fired Paris St Germain to a new Ligue 1 record.

The 19-year-old France striker blew Lyon away – scoring four times between the 61st and 74th minutes – as PSG romped to a 5-0 win at Parc des Princes.

It was PSG’s ninth Ligue 1 success in a row from the start of the season, eclipsing the 82-year-old record set by Olympique Lillois during the 1936-37 campaign.

“There have been a lot of things in this game that will make us remember it,” Mbappe told CanalPlus after claiming his first PSG hat-trick and doubling his league goal tally in one evening.

“I should have scored more goals, it’s part of the steps I have to go to get to the top.

“But at no time (have) I doubted. As long as an attacker creates opportunities, everything is fine.”

Mbappe won the ninth-minute penalty which allowed Neymar to open the scoring with his 11th goal of the season.

PSG were at a one-man disadvantage when Presnel Kimpembe was sent off for a 32nd-minute lunge on Tanguy Ndombele.

But Lucas Tousart’s second yellow card on the stroke of half-time evened up the numbers.

“The most important thing is the work of a whole team and the record of the day,” Mbappe said.

“I will insist on the collective. We wanted to win and make history in this championship. We wanted this record.

“We have a new coach, a new philosophy, and we show that we can adapt.

“When we make the effort for each other, it makes the difference.”

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