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The first 15 candidates for the Ballon d'Or

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The official image for this year's Ballon d'Or. FranceFootball

The first 15 candidates for the Ballon d'Or

Tom Smith by Tom Smith @besoccer_com - 5 +12k

'France Football', who award the prestigious trophy, has revealed the first 15 nominees for the Ballon d'Or. They are as follows:

Neymar

The most talked about player all summer. The Brazilian enjoyed a superb end to the season with Barcelona and has made a fast start to life at PSG, putting him up there with the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Despite only winning the Copa del Rey, he has scored an impressive 38 goals so far this year. Neymar finished fifth in the Balon d'Or standing in 2016.

Paulo Dybala

The Argentinian has now proved he can play at the top level after two emphatic seasons with Juventus. He helped the Italian giants reach the Champions League final last season and has contributed to their so far unbeaten 2017/18 Serie A campaign. The 23-year-old has scored 27 goals in 2017 and lifted the Serie A title as well as the Coppa Italia.

Luka Modric

Modric is just like wine getting better with age, he is the right man for every team's midfield. The Croatian international won the double with Real Madrid this year, only missing out on the Copa del Rey. He finished 17th in the standings last year.

Marcelo

Is Marcelo the best left-back in the world? The Brazilian continues to impress on the left flank and always provides an attacking option for 'Los Blancos'. Like Modric, he won La Liga, the Champions League and both the European and Spanish Super Cup this year.

N'Golo Kante

So much was expected from him after his title-winning season with Leicester City, and he did not disappoint. Kante was an influential player for Chelsea in their successful 2016/17 Premier League campaign and is now one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. Last year, the 26-year-old was not nominated for this award.

Sergio Ramos

Captain Ramos was one of the standout players in a Real Madrid team that won everything but the Copa del Rey last season. Always solid in defence and loves a late goal, what would 'Los Blancos' do without him?

Dries Mertens

The Belgian has continued his progression at Napoli and is closing in on becoming one of the best players in the world.

Jan Oblak

Many people believe the Slovenian goalkeeper has overtaken Manuel Neuer as the best goalkeeper in the world. Despite Atletico Madrid not winning any titles this year, outstanding displays proved Oblak is world class between the sticks.

Luis Suarez

Suarez may not have had his best year at Barcelona, but he continued to play a vital part in their attacking line. The Uruguayan striker remains one of the best No 9's in the world.

Philippe Coutinho

Along with Neymar, Coutinho was one of the most talked about stars this summer. He dazzled with an impressive campaign in the Premier League, leading Liverpool to the Champions League. The Brazilian playmaker is one of the best when it comes to creating chances and is still a transfer target for Barcelona.

Robert Lewandowski

Lewandowski lifted the Bundesliga trophy at the end of the last campaign and is currently Bayern Munich's top scorer this season. The Polish striker is the leader of both Bayern and his national side, who have qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Edin Dzeko

Since leaving Manchester City, the Bosnian has renewed has renewed his goal scoring prowess. He enjoyed an impressive season with Roma, who finished second in Serie A behind Juventus.

David de Gea

Last season, Spain's first choice goalkeeper made a number of key saves for Manchester United, who had a very up and down season. They won the Europa League, sealing automatic qualification into this season's Champions League, but finished sixth place in the Premier League.

Harry Kane

The Tottenham striker is in the form of his life. Kane has scored 15 goals in his last 10 games in all competitions for club and country, putting him in contention to win the Premier League's Golden Boot for the third year in a row. Spurs, who finished second in England's top flight last term, must keep hold of him if they want to win major trophies in the future.

Kevin De Bruyne

The Belgian playmaker struggled for form in the 2016/17 campaign, but has made a fast start to life with Manchester City this season. De Bruyne, who has helped his national side qualify for the World Cup, is a player who is more than capable of picking out a killer pass and netting crucial goals.

Tom Smith

Tom Smith

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