Sam Kerr is again in the running for the Women’s Ballon d’Or, FIFA’s highest individual award, after being named in the 30 player shortlist alongside fellow Matilda Hayley Raso.
The announcement marks the first time two Australian players have been named in the same year for the award.
Kerr has finished third for the past two awards for her efforts with Chelsea, where she won the Women’s Super League as well as the league’s Golden Boot award in both seasons. This past season the Matildas captain led the team to a domestic double, winning both the league and FA Cup with 29 goals in 38 appearances.
Raso’s nomination comes after a spectacular World Cup for Australia, where she scored three goals and played a vital role in the Matildas fourth-place finish. The winger completed a move to Spanish giant Real Madrid after receiving limited minutes at her former club, Manchester City.
Spain’s young star Aitana Bonmati is the favourite to take home the ‘Golden Ball’, after being named the World Cup’s player of the tournament and guiding Spain to their first Women’s World Cup crown.
On the men’s side, Lionel Messi is expected to take home the award after the seven-time winner led Argentina to their first World Cup in 36 years.
Joining Messi is Manchester City striker Erling Haaland, who set England ablaze this past season with 52 goals for the Sky Blues and is one of seven players from Pep Guardiola’s side to be nominated.
Not on the list is five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo, marking the first time in 20 years that the Portuguese star has not been nominated.
The winner will be announced on 30 October in Paris.
Photo: Ballon d’Or by ssusyu available HERE and used under a Creative Commons license. This image has not been modified.