Lionel Messi, Neymar and World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe are among the final players named on the 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist.
They are joined by Mbappe’s France team-mates Hugo Lloris, Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane, as well as Croatia star Luka Modric, who won the World Cup Golden Ball.
Modric’s international team-mates Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Rakitic are also on the shortlist, as are Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
Completing the final 15 nominees for France Football’s prize are Real Madrid’s Marcelo and Sergio Ramos, Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak and Barcelona forward Luis Suarez.
Mbappe scored 21 goals for Paris Saint-Germain last season before starring in France’s triumphant Russia 2018 campaign, netting three times on their way to the final and then again in the 4-2 win over Croatia that sealed their second World Cup triumph.
The teenager is also on the 10-player shortlist for the inaugural Kopa Trophy, a new prize for the best player under 21, which is judged by stars including Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi.
Messi and Neymar did not enjoy World Cups as memorable as Mbappe’s, but they were instrumental in Barcelona and PSG’s respective title wins.
Other players vying for the 2018 Ballon d’Or include last year’s winner Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Harry Kane, Eden Hazard and Antoine Griezmann.
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