Alisson, Firmino and Mane nominated for 2018 Ballon d'Or

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

And he thinks Les Bleus' achievement outranks that of the likes of Messi, who won La Liga and the Copa del Rey with Barcelona, and Ronaldo - who won a third Champions League title with Real Madrid.

The Ballon d'Or has been awarded by France Football every year since 1956, with former England global Sir Stanley Matthews the first victor.

Federation Internationale de Football Association split from the Ballon d'Or in 2016 to launch its own set of awards.

The victor of the prestigious award organised by France Football magazine will be announced on December 3.

The 25-year-old was part of France's World Cup winning team, scoring a goal in the final against Croatia.

The latest candidates, who are being revealed in alphabetical order, include Thibaut Courtois, 2017 victor Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin De Bruyne, Roberto Firmino and Diego Godin.

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Chelsea star N'Golo Kante, Spurs' goalie Hugo Lloris, Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba, Raphael Varane and Karim Benzema are the seven French players.

Other top players nominated for the award are, Neymar, Gareth Bale, Eden Hazard, Luka Modric and Harry Kane.

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.

Firmino is nominated despite Liverpool failing to win a trophy last term and Brazil reaching only the World Cup quarter-finals, while Godin gets the nod following Atletico Madrid's victories in the Europa League and UEFA Super Cup.

The Ballon d'Or is split into three separate criteria: performances during the calendar year, talent and fair play, and career achievements.

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