• France Football has announced that Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is among the 30 nominees for the prestigious Ballon d’Or award.

The French international enjoyed a wonderful season with Real Madrid, scoring 44 goals in 46 games and helping the team win the Champions League and La Liga titles.

Seven-time winner of the award, Lionel Messi, was not nominated this year for the first time since 2005, and Brazilian Neymar, his Paris St Germain teammate, also missed the race.

Other candidates include Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester City’s Erling Haaland, who just joined from Borussia Dortmund, and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, who shared the Premier League’s top scorer last season.

The prize winner will be announced on October 17th. The award is given for the first time based on the player’s performance during the regular season from August to July instead of the period during a calendar year.

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