- Wales international Gareth Bale among early nominees for this year's Ballon d'Or
- The striker was instrumental to Los Blancos' victory over Liverpool in the Champions League final
- He rejected a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu this summer after being assured of enough playing time
Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale has been shortlisted among top stars for this year's Ballon d'Or award.
The 28-year-old attacker was superb for Los Blancos in their Champions League triumph over Liverpool in Kiev this May.
He scored two superb goals in the final of the competition - which includes the over-head kick at the Olimpiyskiy Stadium.
According to BBC, Manchester City goal machine Sergio Aguero is also a notable name in the list of players contending for the prestigious prize.
Others are Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema and Paris St-Germain attacker Edinson Cavani.
Regular names like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Messi and a few others are expected to make the 30-man list of nominees which will be revealed during the day.
The Ballon d'Or, a prestigious award presented since 1956, is given to the best player of the year and this year's ceremony will take place in Paris on 3 December.
NAIJ.com previously reported that Real Madrid were crowned champions of Europe for the 13th time as they defeated Liverpool in the Champions League final by 3-1.
Karim Benzema scored the first goal in bizarre fashion as the Reds goalkeeper Lucas Karius throws the ball against the Frenchman's leg to score Madrid's first goal.
Two second half goals ensured Los Blancos emerged victorious for the third time on a bounce as they cancel out Sadio Mane's equaliser in the game.
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