There are strong indications that neither Cristiano Ronaldo nor Lionel Messi will be placed within the final three of the Ballon d’Or voting in 2018 for the first time since 2006.
Earlier this month, a journalist for RFI Sports, Eric Mamruth, revealed the state of the proceedings halfway through the vote count.
At that time, the top three was comprised of Real Madrid’s Luka Modric and Rafael Varane, as well as Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe – leaving no room for either of the sport’s domineering figures from the last 12 years.
And now, following the release of L’Equipe’s official trailer for the 2018 ceremony, the speculation regarding this eventuality has only increased in volume.
This is because, after showing Ronaldo with the golden ball he garnered last time out, the first three figures to appear in the trailer are indeed Mbappe, Varane and Modric.
Furthermore, after taking us quickly through the rest of the prominent nominees – Mohamed Salah, Paul Pogba, Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante, Neymar, Antoine Griezmann, Messi & Ronaldo – the video once again circles back to the aforementioned trio.
The 30 second montage has prompted many to believe that 2018 may just be the year that the Messi-Ronaldo duopoly is finally broken. The winner will be announced on Monday, December 3rd.
Here is the full list of nominees for France Football’s prestigious award:
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Aguero, Alisson Becker, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Edinson Cavani, Thibaut Courtois, Kevin De Bruyne, Roberto Firmino, Diego Godin, Antoine Griezmann, Eden Hazard, Isco, Harry Kane, N’Golo Kante, Hugo Lloris, Mario Mandzukic, Sadio Mane, Marcelo, Kylian Mbappe, Luka Modric, Neymar, Paul Pogba, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Ramos, Mohamed Salah, Luis Suarez, Jan Oblak and Raphael Varane.