2021 Ballon d'Or: Everything to know about the 20 women's nominees this year

Ballon d'Or

The full 20-strong list of nominees for this year’s Ballon d’Or Féminin has been revealed.

This is the third year of the prestigious title since Ada Hegerberg won the inaugural award in 2018, followed by Megan Rapinoe the year after.

Here’s the full list of 2021 Ballon d’Or nominees and a look at why each player has been shortlisted.

Alexia Putellas (Barcelona & Spain)

Barcelona veteran Alexia Putellas has enjoyed a 2021 dripping in gold.

The midfielder won the Primera Iberdrola title, Copa de la Reina, and made history with Barca after becoming the first ever Spanish side to win the Champions League.

In her side’s unstoppable league season, Putellas netted 18 goals from the middle of the park. She also scooped the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year award and was named in the Champions League Squad of the Season.

Alexia Putellas

Magdalena Eriksson (Chelsea & Sweden)

The Chelsea skipper led her side to their fourth Women’s Super League title last season, finishing with just one loss and ten goals conceded.

Eriksson also captained the Blues to a Community Shield and Continental Cup title. They fell just short of the mark in the Champions League, coming second to Barcelona in the final.

Magda Eriksson

Sam Kerr (Chelsea & Australia)

Sam Kerr enjoyed her best WSL season yet after winning the Golden Boot thanks to her astonishing 21 goals and a further eight assists. 

The striker enjoyed a three-trophy haul with Chelsea and was named in the PFA WSL Team of the Year.

Sam Kerr

Marie-Antoinette Katoto (PSG & France)

Marie-Antoinette Katoto’s contribution to PSG’s Division 1 Féminine title was paramount.

The 22-year-old scored 21 goals for the season, finishing as her team’s highest scorer and the second highest in the league behind Khadija Shaw.

Thanks to Katoto’s efforts in D1, she was named in the league’s official Team of the Year.

Last month, she scored her first international hat-trick for France in a 10-0 win over Greece.

Marie-Antoinette Katoto

Stina Blackstenius (BK Häcken & Sweden)

Stina Blackstenius played a huge role in Sweden’s dominant Olympic run this summer.

The Swedes fought off Japan and Australia to reach the final in Tokyo against Canada, where Blackstenius scored her side’s only goal. 

However, Canada emerged victorious via penalty shootout, with Sweden earning silver.

Stina Blackstenius

Wendie Renard (Lyon & France)

Wendie Renard was a sturdy asset to Lyon’s challenge for a 15th French league title.

Although the title wasn’t to be, the defender led by example on the pitch and put in some stunning attacking performances.

Renard clocked ten goals and two assists for the season and helped Lyon keep an impressive record of just six goals conceded in 22 games.

Wendie Renard

Sam Mewis (NC Courage & USA) 

The US star enjoyed a loan spell with Manchester City last season, which saw her compete for the WSL title before just losing out to Chelsea.

The midfielder scored two important goals in Man City’s postponed 2019/20 FA Cup title run – netting in the semi-final against Arsenal and the final vs Everton for the club’s third trophy in the competition. 

Mewis also enjoyed a solid display at the Tokyo Olympics, placing third with the USA after beating Australia in the bronze medal match.

Sam Mewis

Pernille Harder (Chelsea & Denmark)

Like her Chelsea teammates on this list, Pernille Harder won a trio of trophies with the Blues last season. She finished the WSL campaign with nine goals and three assists.

The Dane was also named in the UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season after Chelsea finished second in the tournament.

Pernille Harder

Sandra Paños (Barcelona & Spain)

The Barcelona goalkeeper played a huge role in her side’s treble-winning season and was named in the UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season. 

Sandra Panos

Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal & The Netherlands)

Despite Arsenal struggling in the WSL last season, Vivianne Miedema was clinical as always in her side’s attack.

The Dutch star finished the term with 18 goals and six assists, behind only Chelsea’s Sam Kerr. 

Miedema also made history by breaking the all-time WSL goals record – taking over Nikita Parris’ 49 goal tally. 

Vivianne Miedema

Jessie Fleming (Chelsea & Canada)

Not only did Jessie Fleming enjoy a decorated season with Chelsea, but she was a national hero on the Olympic stage.

The midfielder was vital in Canada’s gold medal run – scoring her side’s only goal in the final and netting the opening penalty of the shootout against Sweden.

Jessie Fleming

Irene Paredes (Barcelona & Spain)

Irene Paredes joined Barcelona from PSG this summer after winning the D1 title with the Parisians. She was then recognised for her efforts with Barca in the Champions League to make the Squad of the Season.

Irene Paredes

Ashley Lawrence (PSG & Canada)

The versatile midfielder not only won her first French title with PSG but was part of the Canadian side that won its first ever gold medal at the Olympic Games this summer.

Ashley Lawrence

Lieke Martens (Barcelona & The Netherlands)

Lieke Martens contributed an astonishing 20 goals and 16 assists to Barcelona’s treble-winning season. 

She was nominated for the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year Award before she represented The Netherlands on the Olympic stage in Tokyo.

Lieke Martens

Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns & Canada)

Canadian hero Christine Sinclair has enjoyed a huge year. 

The forward recently earned her 300th cap for her national team and led them to their first ever Olympic gold medal in Tokyo.

Christine Sinclair

Ellen White (Man City & England)

Man City may have narrowly missed out on the 2020/21 WSL title, but Ellen White was still a standout performer.

The striker finished the season with ten goals and five assists, which helped cement her spot in the 2020 Team GB squad for the Olympics.

White also won the England Women’s Player of the Year award for 2020/21, the third time she’s won the accolade.

Ellen White

Christiane Endler (PSG & Chile)

Although the goalkeeper has now left PSG, Christiane Endler is still being acknowledged her efforts with the French side.

The Chilean shot-stopper was named in the Trophées UNFP du football Team of the Year and won the Goalkeeper of the Year award.

Endler also made the UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season and kept 19 clean sheets in her 22 D1 appearances.

Christiane Endler

Jenni Hermoso (Barcelona & Spain)

Jenni Hermoso made history during the Champions League last season. Not only did she help Barcelona become the first Spanish side to win a European title, but she finished the campaign as the joint top scorer, becoming the first Spaniard to do.

Hermoso was then named the Champions League Forward of the Season and earned spot in the tournament’s official Squad of the Season as well.

Jenni Hermoso

Fran Kirby (Chelsea & England)

Fran Kirby made a dream comeback after being out of action for several months through illness.

As though she’d never been away, the forward finished the 2020/21 WSL season with a whopping 16 goals and 11 assists. 

Kirby was presented with the 2020/21 FWA Women’s Footballer of the Year and PFA Women’s Players’ Player of the Year awards for her efforts.

Fran Kirby

Kadidiatou Diani (PSG & France)

French international Kadidiatou Diani enjoyed her first D1 title with PSG last season. 

The forward bagged 13 goals and nine assists and after a stellar 2021/22 domestic season, she was named the league’s Player of the Year. 

Kadidiatou Diani

The winner of the 2021 Ballon d’Or will be announced in December. 

News Now - Sport News