Which player will win the Ballon d’Or in 2018?

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The Ballon della Cenni is the most prestigious award in Italian football and will be decided at the end of the 2018/19 campaign.

With a host of top European stars at their disposal, the award will be the most hotly contested in years and will see many of the best players from Italy’s top flight take part.

The Ballons Serie A team currently sit second, behind Juventus, but they will be forced to take on the Juventus of the world this summer to make a final.

Here are the 10 names to watch out for.

Gianluigi Buffon Juventus: Juventus will be aiming to make history by winning the Ballons’ first title since 2008/09 with a third successive triumph.

The Bianconeri won the treble in 2017/18 but will be without captain Dani Alves, the reigning league MVP, with the club having already confirmed that the midfielder will miss the next four months.

The duo combined for 71 goals last season, which was enough to lift Juventus to the final in their last-16 campaign.

Gianluca Vialli Napoli: The Serie A side are aiming for another title and will have to face an uphill battle to do so, especially with the likes of Leonardo Bonucci and Edinson Cavani expected to depart for Barcelona.

But Giuseppe Marotta’s side are expected to be bolstered by the arrival of Nabil Bentaleb from Bayer Leverkusen, with a reported £50m signing from Marseille also a possibility.

The Italian champions could also look to strengthen in the centre of defence with Simone Zaza, Andrea Pirlo and Giacomo Bonaventura all making a strong bid to move to Turin.

Sergio Ramos Atletico Madrid: The reigning La Liga champions will be hoping to secure a third straight title and take their tally to 100 points from 36 games.

The Spanish side will be desperate to secure another Champions League berth as they struggled last season.

But Atletico will also be without the services of Diego Costa, who left the club this summer.

They could also be missing the services in the transfer market with Carlos Tevez, the player who was once at the heart of the Atletico defence, a doubt for this summer’s tournament.

Cristiano Ronaldo Atletico: The former Manchester United star is one of the most prolific goal scorers in the world, and his compatriot Atletico are expected on the lookout for an upgrade.

With the likes: Angel Di Maria, Juan Mata, Juanfran, Lucas Piazon, Ivan Rakitic, Diego Costa and Diego Lopez also looking to leave, Atletico have an abundance of options to offer in the attacking ranks.

André Villas-Boas will be looking to strengthen his side further with the signing of former Atletico midfielder Pedro, who was a key part of Villas Boas’ side to win the trebles last season and is expected to leave for Chelsea.

Mario Mandzukic Atletico Bilbao: The Spanish giants have struggled for goals in recent years and it remains to be seen if they can make it into the Champions League group stages again.

However, Atleti’s current predicament in the La Liga standings means they will likely be looking at making a change and signing Mario Mandazukic from Real Madrid.

The 23-year-old has spent last season on loan at Bilboo and could fill the void left by Diego Costa who left to join Barcelona.

Andrey Arshavin Sevilla: Sevilla have had a rough go of it at the foot of La Liga in recent seasons but will hope to do better this season.

With Diego Costa likely to leave the club and Mario Mandizukic leaving, Sevilla are set to add some quality to their defence with the acquisition of former Barcelona defender Arshavchenko.

The Croatian international will bolster Sevilla’s midfield and defence, while also providing some firepower down the flanks.

Carlos Teixeira Atletico’s next challenge: Sevillas will be determined to make it to the Champions’ League group stage after winning the LaLiga title last season but will have a tough task of keeping up with Barcelona.

With Neymar and Co. on the move, they will need to bolster their defence and look to make up some ground in midfield with Arshava, who will be joined by Dani Alve, who has been linked with a move to the Premier League.

Mario Balotelli Atletico Mineiro: The Biancan outfit will be delighted to welcome back former Atletic captain Mario Balotei to the club after he missed the last two years due to a knee injury.

Balotli will be tasked with providing a consistent, attacking threat for the reigning Serie A champions as they look to avoid relegation to Serie B. Balotelli has featured for the Italian champions in all competitions this season and scored five goals.

Andres Iniesta Atletico Turin:

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