Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo will miss out on the podium, according to several Italian newspapers report.
The 33-year-old Portugal international will be battle Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi, former Real Madrid teammate Raphael Varane, Luka Modric plus Atletico Madrid number seven Antoine Griezmann, Liverpool's Mohamed Salah and PSG World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe for the 2018 crown.
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According to Gazzetta dello
Sport, Corriere dello
Sport and La Stampa are among the publications which believe there will be no Ronaldo or Lionel Messi in the final three on December 3, which begins with images of the five-time winner victory last year but is followed by Mbappe, Varane and Modric, before there is a break in the footage.
Real Madrid centre-back has lifted both the World Cup and Champions League this year, and the Frenchman would become the first defender to win the Ballon d’Or since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006.
Should one of Modric, Varane or Mbappe claim the title, they would become the first player since Kaka in 2007 to break the dominance of the Juventus and Barcelona stars.