In Review

Ballon d’Or 2018: the 30-player shortlist, betting odds, start time

Can Luka Modric end the Cristiano Ronaldo-Lionel Messi domination?

The 2018 Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best male footballer will be presented tonight and for the first time in more than ten years the winner could be someone other than Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi.

Since 2008 only Ronaldo or Messi have won the coveted award, but this year Real Madrid and Croatia star Luka Modric is the big favourite for the title.

Modric, who captained Croatia to the 2018 World Cup final, heads up a 30-man shortlist for the 2018 Ballon d’Or. Five-time winners Ronaldo and Messi are also on the list along with French World Cup winners Antoine Griezmann, Raphael Varane and Kylian Mbappe.

A total of 11 Premier League players feature on the list, including Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard.

As well as the men’s award, the BBC reports that the inaugural female winner will also be named tonight. On the 15-player shortlist are England’s Lucy Bronze and Fran Kirby.

When and where do the awards take place?

The 63rd Ballon d’Or awards will be held tonight in Paris. The Sun says that the ceremony is expected to start at around 8pm.

Will it be shown on TV in the UK?

According to The Sun and the London Evening Standard, no UK television broadcaster has currently been confirmed.

What is the criteria?

The Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best male player in a calendar year has been presented by France Football magazine since 1956. The winner will be selected by a panel of international journalists, with one representative from each country. Sky Sports explains: “The panel judge nominees on: their performances during the calendar year, their talent and fair play, and their achievements throughout their career.” The player who gets the most points in the vote is awarded the Ballon d’Or.

Past winners

Since 2008 only Ronaldo or Messi have won the coveted Ballon d’Or award.

  • 2008: Cristiano Ronaldo 
  • 2009: Lionel Messi 
  • 2010: Lionel Messi 
  • 2011: Lionel Messi 
  • 2012: Lionel Messi 
  • 2013: Cristiano Ronaldo 
  • 2014: Cristiano Ronaldo 
  • 2015: Lionel Messi 
  • 2016: Cristiano Ronaldo 
  • 2017: Cristiano Ronaldo

2018 Ballon d’Or: shortlist and betting odds

Who is on the 30-player shortlist?
  • Sergio Aguero (Argentina, Manchester City) 
  • Alisson (Brazil, Liverpool) 
  • Gareth Bale (Wales, Real Madrid) 
  • Karim Benzema (France, Real Madrid) 
  • Kevin de Bruyne (Belgium, Manchester City) 
  • Edinson Cavani (Uruguay, Paris St-Germain) 
  • Thibaut Courtois (Belgium, Real Madrid)
  • Roberto Firmino (Brazil, Liverpool) 
  • Diego Godin (Uruguay, Atletico Madrid) 
  • Antoine Griezmann (France, Atletico Madrid) 
  • Eden Hazard (Belgium, Chelsea) 
  • Isco (Spain, Real Madrid) 
  • Harry Kane (England, Tottenham) 
  • N’Golo Kante (France, Chelsea) 
  • Hugo Lloris (France, Tottenham) 
  • Mario Mandzukic (Croatia, Juventus) 
  • Sadio Mane (Senegal, Liverpool) 
  • Marcelo (Brazil, Real Madrid) 
  • Kylian Mbappe (France, Paris St-Germain) 
  • Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona) 
  • Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid) 
  • Neymar (Brazil, Paris St-Germain) 
  • Jan Oblak (Slovenia, Atletico Madrid) 
  • Paul Pogba (France, Manchester United) 
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Juventus) 
  • Ivan Rakitic (Croatia, Barcelona) 
  • Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid) 
  • Mohamed Salah (Egypt, Liverpool) 
  • Luis Suarez (Uruguay, Barcelona) 
  • Raphael Varane (France, Real Madrid)
Ballon d’Or winner betting odds

Prices according to Oddschecker (as of 3 December). 

  • Luka Modric: 1/10
  • Antoine Griezmann: 7/2
  • Raphael Varane: 5/1
  • Kylian Mbappe: 5/1
  • Cristiano Ronaldo: 13/2
  • Lionel Messi: 25/1
  • Mohamed Salah: 50/1
  • Harry Kane: 50/1
  • Eden Hazard: 66/1
  • Neymar: 66/1 
  • Ivan Rakitic: 66/1 

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