France Football are announcing the stars to make the list all through Monday, with Premier League winners Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero among the first ten to make the cut.
Ronaldo and Messi have won the award between them for the last 10 years.
Ronaldo looked a certainty for his third straight Ballon d'Or after leading Real Madrid to their unprecedented threepeat in the continent's prime club competition, where he was yet again the top scorer.
Antoine Griezmann, a World Cup victor with France and Europa League champion at Atletico Madrid, is nominated alongside global teammate and Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante.
Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero is nominated as is another prolific South American striker, Edinson Cavani of Uruguay and Paris Saint-Germain.
Kane, the only English player to be named so far, is also up against Ronaldo's former Real Madrid team-mate Gareth Bale and Chelsea duo Eden Hazard and N'Golo Kante.
Liverpool's Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino and Uruguay's rugged defender Diego Godin of Atletico Madrid also got the nod.
The victor will be announced in Paris on 3 December with a women's victor awarded for the first time.
PSG's Mbappe appears a dead certainty for the newly-introduced Kopa Trophy, which rewards the best players under 21, and is voted on by previous Ballon d'Or winners.
The Ballon d'Or, which was first won by Englishman Stanley Matthews in 1956, is decided by a ballot of journalists from around the world.