Our writers pick their top three for the Ballon d'Or award

Bale, De Bruyne among first Ballon d'Or nominees

Bale, De Bruyne among first Ballon d'Or nominees

The Ballon d'Or, now separate from FIFA's own player of the year award, is bestowed annually by France Football magazine.

"Whether it's Grizou (Antoine Griezmann), Kylian (Mbappe) or Raph (Raphael Varane), they deserve it much more than me", Pogba told AFP.

Ronaldo, now at Juventus, won the Champions League for the third season in a row with Madrid, while De Bruyne inspired Manchester City's Premier League and EFL Cup double before a strong World Cup showing.

The Tottenham striker captained England to their first World Cup semi-final in 28 years in Russian Federation this summer.

"I cannot designate one".

Manchester United midfielder, Paul Pogba, has admitted he does not deserve the Ballon d'Or.

Salah enjoyed one of the finest debut campaigns in Reds history with 44 goals after signing from Roma in 2017, including a record tally of 32 in a 38-game Premier League season.

"One of the four, actually, because there is NG (N'Golo Kante)". "I messaged him afterwards and said: 'You need to call for the ball closer to the goal".

For the first time, a Ballon d'Or for women players will be awarded this year, with the nominees to be announced later Monday. "However, I believe that a Frenchman must win the Ballon d'Or".

"The best team in the world surely possesses the best player, right?"

The 30-man list of nominees will be revealed throughout the day.

The Juventus forward, now facing allegations of rape dating back to 2009 that he strenuously denies, has already won the Ballon d'Or five times and is the current holder of the award.

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