The new campaign may have only just started, but it is already award season.
The nominees for the 2023 Ballon d’Or have been announced with a shortlist of 30 players for both men’s and women’s football, naturally sending social media into a frenzied meltdown.
Barcelona won’t care about that one bit though having this year set the record for the most nominees the club has ever had for the Ballon d’Or Femenin. Add that to the two Blaugrana players nominated for the men’s award – Robert Lewandowski and Ilkay Gundogan – and that’s a pretty impressive tally.
So, just how many nominations have Barcelona got for the 2023 Ballon d’Or Femenin?
The 2023 Ballon d’Or will take place at the Theatre du Chatelet on October 30 in Paris. Out of the 30 nominees in both the men’s and women’s game, a winner will be chosen based on the amount of votes they have received from a committee of 100 journalists from FIFA’s 100 highest ranking nations.
Each journalist will rank their top five players and the player with the highest total score will be crowned Ballon d’Or winner.
The Ballon d’Or Femenin has only existed since 2018, with three different winners of the prestigious award. Having been cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there have only been four awards handed out in the past five years.
Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas is the current holder of the trophy, having won it for the past two years following her unbelievable performances with the Spanish side, while her teammate Jennifer Hermoso finished runner-up in 2021. The previous winners were United States icon Megan Rapinoe in 2019 and Lyon’s Aga Hegerberg the year before.
Previous Ballon d’or winners
For the first time, Barcelona have six nominees for the Ballon d’Or Femenin – one higher than the five they had in 2021 and 2022.
Having won the league and Champions League last season, it’s no surprise to see so many Barcelona players on the shortlist. Putellas will not be able to win her third successive award after an anterior cruciate ligament injury kept her out for most of the season, but this does mean there will definitely be a new winner this year.
Out of the Barcelona team, Aitana Bonmati seems the obvious candidate and is the clear favourite for this year’s Ballon d’Or. The Barcelona star helped guide Spain to their first ever World Cup win this summer, also winning the Golden Ball for best player in the process.
Swedish forward Fridolina Rolfo also impressed last season, even finishing off a remarkable 3-2 comeback in the Champions League final against Wolfsburg. Rolfo’s teammate Patri Guijarro will also be among the front-runners having herself netted a brace in the final, although she was one of those who decided against joining up with the Spanish national team this summer.
Among the other attacking nominees are Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala and World Cup winner Salma Paraluello. The former has blossomed since arriving at Barcelona in 2019 and contributed 27 goals in 42 games last season, while Paraluello was also a key member of Spain’s world conquerors.
At the other end of the pitch there is Mapi Leon who has continued to establish herself as one of the best centre-backs in women’s football, but unfortunately defenders are often ignored come award season.
Full list of Ballon d’Or Feminin nominees
Daphne Van Domselaar