Pair Among First Five Names Announced
Real Madrid striker Gareth Bale is among the first five nominees for the annual Ballon D’Or award for the world’s best footballer.
The Wales international joins his club team-mate Karim Benzema, Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero and Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani in the first trance of 30 names.
Bale came on as a second-half substitute in May’s Champions League triumph over Liverpool scoring twice as Real defeated the Premier League side 3-1 to seal a third successive title. It came at the end of a season in which he scored 21 goals in 39 games in all competitions despite being out of action with an injury for part of the campaign. He has scored four goals in the opening nine matches of this season.
The Ballon D’Or is awarded annually by the French newspaper France Football. Cristiano Ronaldo is the current holder of the award having won in the past two years. The last ten awards have been given to either Ronaldo or Lionel Messi.
The award will be given at a dinner in Paris on 3 December.