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Modric, Ronaldo in Ballon d’Or rematch

Real midfielder Luka Modric challenge for the ball during a Group G Champions League soccer match between CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

Real midfielder Luka Modric challenge for the ball during a Group G Champions League soccer match between CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

PARIS (AFP) – FIFA best player of the year Luka Modric remains on track for a second major award after he was named Monday among 30 nominees for the Ballon d’Or alongside the likes of ex-Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.

Modric, a World Cup runner-up with Croatia, beat Juventus’ Ronaldo and Salah to win the FIFA prize last month after Messi was surprisingly left off the final three-man list.

Ronaldo, currently facing allegations of rape dating back to 2009 that he strenuously denies, has already won the Ballon d’Or five times and is the current holder of the award. Messi has also won the award on five occasions.

FIFA split from the Ballon d’Or in 2016 to launch its own set of awards. The winner of the prestigious Ballon d’Or organised by France Football magazine will be announced on December 3.

Real Madrid and Wales forward Gareth Bale and Manchester City’s Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne also featured among a list of familiar names.

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