Particularly in a World Cup year, it feels as though such awards - like the honours list, never to be taken too seriously - should provide a snapshot of a time (otherwise, voting for world's best footballer, we would just give it to Messi every season).
The Tottenham striker captained England to their first World Cup semi-final in 28 years in Russian Federation this summer. The two Ballon d'Or Awards will be decided by an global jury of journalists, with AS editor Alfredo Relaño again casting Spain's vote this year.
Despite Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Luka Modric, who won the Golden Ball in the World Cup, and was also voted as FIFA's best player last month, Griezmann remained adamant that a France worldwide should be given Ballon d'Or.
Atletico Madrid striker Griezmann and PSG wonderkid Mbappe are seen as the Frenchmen with the best chance of individual glory, but Croatia midfielder Luka Modric is the favourite for the award after winning the Champions League with Real and leading his country to the final of Russian Federation 2018.
Kevin De Bruyne was nominated for helping Manchester City win the Premier League and Belgium reach the World Cup semi-finals while Salah enjoyed a breathtaking first season with Liverpool, bagging 32 goals in the Premier League.
Real Madrid midfielder Isco, Liverpool's Brazilian Roberto Firmino and Uruguay's rugged defender Diego Godin of Atletico Madrid also got the nod.
'In this best team in the world there must be the best player in the world, right?
The names are released in groups of five throughout the day, with the full 30-player shortlist eventually being drawn up ahead of the awards ceremony in Paris on 3 December.
The first five Ballon d'Or nominees have been named and a number of Premier League players feature prominently on the list.
Two goalkeepers are also among the first 15 - Thibaut Courtois of Belgium and Real Madrid and Liverpool and Brazil stopper Alisson Becker.