The Ballon d’Or, back under the stewardship of France Football for couple years now after a brief merger with FIFA’s awards, remains the most prestigious individual award in world football. It’s been dominated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo over the past decade (5 times winners, each), but as we saw with FIFA’s “The Best” award going to Luka Modric, 2018 could bring a changing of the guard.

Two Chelsea players who will be hoping that is indeed the case are Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante, both of whom are nominated or the second consecutive year. Kante finished 8th and Hazard 19th in last year’s field of 30 nominees. Hazard has been nominated every year he’s been at Chelsea, never finishing higher than 8th. Could he leverage his great form to a higher finish? (Chelsea’s best ever placement came courtesy of Frank Lampard, who finished a distant second behind Ronaldinho in 2005.)

Here are the 30 nominees for the 2018 Ballon d’Or. Three ex-Chelsea players are on the list as well, Mo Salah, Kevin De Bruyne, and Thibaut Courtoissssss:

Sergio Agüero (Argentina / Manchester City)
Alisson (Brazil / Roma & Liverpool)
Gareth Bale (Wales / Real Madrid)
Karim Benzema (France / Real Madrid)
Edinson Cavani (Uruguay / PSG)
Thibaut Courtois (Belgium / Chelsea & Real Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal / Real Madrid & Juventus)
Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium / Manchester City)
Roberto Firmino (Brazil / Liverpool)
Diego Godin (Uruguay / Atlético Madrid)
Antoine Griezmann (France / Atlético Madrid)
Eden Hazard (Belgium / Chelsea)
Isco (Spain / Real Madrid)
Harry Kane (England / Tottenham)
N’Golo Kanté (France / Chelsea)
Hugo Lloris (France / Tottenham)
Mario Mandzukic (Croatia / Juventus)
Sadio Mané (Senegal / Liverpool)
Marcelo (Brazil / Real Madrid)
Kylian Mbappé (France / PSG)
Lionel Messi (Argentina / Barcelona)
Luka Modric (Croatia / Real Madrid)
Neymar (Brazil / PSG)
Jan Oblak (Slovenia / Atlético Madrid)
Paul Pogba (France / Manchester United)
Ivan Rakitic (Croatia / Barcelona)
Mohamed Salah (Egypt / Liverpool)
Sergio Ramos (Spain / Real Madrid)
Luis Suarez (Uruguay / Barcelona)
Raphaël Varane (France / Real Madrid)

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