The 2018 award was won by Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric and marked the first time that neither Cristiano Ronaldo nor Lionel Messi had received the accolade since Kaka won it 11 years earlier in 2007.
Champions League winners Liverpool boast the most nominations, with seven names on the list. Virgil van Dijk, who was named 2019 UEFA Player of the Year, is joined on the list by Sadio Mane, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alisson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.
Five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo was named in the third batch of nominees, while
|Sergio Aguero||Manchester City/Argentina|
|Frenkie de Jong||Barcelona/Netherlands|
|Kylian Mbappe||Paris Saint-Germain/France|
|Donny van de Beek||Ajax/Netherlands|
|Marc-Andre ter Stegen||Barcelona/Germany|
|Karim Benzema||Real Madrid|
|Matthijs de Ligt||Juventus/Netherlands|
|Virgil van Dijk||Liverpool/Netherlands|
|Bernardo Silva||Manchester City/Portugal|
|Son Heung-min||Tottenham/South Korea|
|Robert Lewandowski||Bayern Munich/Poland|
|Riyad Mahrez||Manchester City/Algeria|
|Kevin de Bruyne||Manchester City/Belgium|
|Eden Hazard||Real Madrid/Belgium|
|Raheem Sterling||Manchester City/England|
|Joao Felix||Atletico Madrid/Portugal|
Notable absentees from this year's shortlist include Champions League finalist Harry Kane, Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos and Chelsea star Ngolo Kante.
The 30 nominees have been chosen by the editorial staff at France Football, while the winner will be determined by the votes of an international panel of journalists – one per country.
There are three main criteria that nominees are judged on. These are: individual and team achievements over the last 12 months, a player’s talent and flair, and a player’s wider career.
Every voting journalist will get five picks, each worth a different value. A top pick is worth six points, with subsequent choices getting four, three, two or one point. In the event of two players getting the same number of total points, the number of first place votes will be taken in account, followed by second place votes, third place votes, and so on.
France Football also oversees the Women’s Ballon d’Or, which was new in 2018 and won for the first time by Lyon striker Ada Hegerberg, as well as the Kopa Trophy for players aged 21 or under, and the new Yachine Trophy to recognise the best goalkeeper of the calendar year.
The Ballon d’Or was briefly partnered with FIFA from 2010 until 2015, but the world governing body has already held its own separate 2019 award ceremony, during which Messi and USWNT icon Megan Rapinoe scooped the two main individual 2019 awards.