London :Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo was among the first 10 nominees for the men’s Ballon d’Or trophy announced , awarded by France Football magazine to the best player in the world.
The Portuguese has won the award for the past two years and five times in total, a record he shares with Argentine Lionel Messi who is expected to be included on the 30-man shortlist named throughout the day.
Ronaldo’s nomination comes after the 33-year-old last week denied rape allegations levelled against him by a woman who sued him in court in the United States.
Sportswear maker Nike Inc and video game maker Electronic Arts Inc, who both have worked with the five-time Champions League winner, said last Thursday they were concerned about the allegations.
A panel of journalists select the Ballon d’Or winner which was first established in 1956 and will this year feature a women’s award for the first time.
The award merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year prize from 2010-15 to create the FIFA Ballon d’Or, but returned to France Football magazine in 2016 while FIFA established The Best awards.
Men’s shortlist so far:
First 15 nominees (of 30) for Ballon d’Or
Kevin De Bruyne