Liverpool FC of England duel of Mohammed Salah (from Egypt) and Senegalese international Sadio Mane are among the nominees for the 2018 Ballon d’Or.
In the same shortlist are England and Tottingham striker Harry Cane, Barcelona and Argentina star lionel Messi, Portugal and Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo and the Wales and Real Madrid of Spain forward Gareth Bale.
But the thirty-man list is dominated by Champions League winners Real Madrid, who have eight players nominated, including Croatia international Luka Modric.
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne are among eleven Premier League players on the list.
Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero is a contender, as are Liverpool keeper Alisson and forward Roberto Firmino.
Paul Pogba, of Manchester United, Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante and Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris are also selected.
The African pair of Salah and Mane are the only contenders from the continent.
Last season, Salah’s superlative performance, in which he scored forty-four goals in all competitions for Liverpool, earned him a top-chart position in the EPL, as well as the African Player of the Year.
His Senegalese strike partner, Mane, also scored over a dozen goals for the Mersey side club, and both players were instrumental in their countries’ Russia-2018 World Cup qualification, although neither the Senegalese Teranga Lions nor the Pharaohs of Egypt made it beyond the first round.
The Ballon d’Or, first presented in 1956, is given to the best player of the year.
A ceremony to announce the winner of the prestigious award will take place in Paris, France, on December 3, when a women’s award will also be presented for the first time.