Beth Mead’s exceptional form at Euro 2022 saw her scoop the Player of the Tournament award, but that might not be where the accolades stop for the England star.
Mead played a pivotal role in the Lionesses’ triumphant campaign, scoring six goals in six matches and winning the competition’s Golden Boot.
The England forward also enjoyed a stellar season for Arsenal and has become an invaluable member of Jonas Eidevall’s side.
Her performances of late have prompted many to consider whether she could win women’s football’s ultimate individual honour –– the Ballon d’Or Feminin.
There is a short history when it comes to the award, which was first awarded in 2018, but there is every chance that Mead may become just the fourth player to receive the prize.
With this in mind, we’ve assessed Mead’s chances and compared her to the other leading contenders for the award this year.
Mead’s incredible tournament
Mead is England’s top scorer since Sarina Wiegman took over the side last year, with 20 goals in that time.
The 27-year-old started her Euros campaign in fine style by notching the winner against Austria and followed this up by netting a hat-trick against Norway.
Another goal against Northern Ireland brought her tournament tally to five, while a fine finish against Sweden in the semi-final was enough to clinch the Golden Boot.
Though Mead finished level with Alexandra Popp on six goals, her superior number of assists helped her beat the German striker to the award.
Overall, the Gunners star scored the most goals ever in a single European tournament by an England player –– surpassing Jodie Taylor and Alan Shearer’s record of five.
BETH MEAD.— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) July 31, 2022
GOLDEN BOOT WINNER.
PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT. pic.twitter.com/ATF0LRBz00
Does silverware impact the Ballon d’Or?
Judging by the previous recipients of the award, silverware clearly plays some role when it comes to determining the winner.
In 2018, Norway striker Ada Hegerberg scooped the award after inspiring Lyon to victory in the Women’s Champions League.
Then, the following year, Megan Rapinoe’s heroics at the 2019 World Cup led to her receiving the honour.
In 2021, it was Barcelona star Alexia Putellas who received the most votes, having helped the Catalonian side win their first domestic European title.
Back in 2017, before the award was introduced, Dutch star Lieke Martens was voted the Best FIFA Women’s Player after winning the Player of the Tournament award at Euro 2017.
Who are the other contenders?
All this information suggests that Mead will be a frontrunner for this year’s prize, though there are still plenty of other contenders.
Last year’s winner, Putellas, enjoyed another stunning year for Barcelona. However, she suffered an ACL injury just days before the Euros, which will rule her out of action for at least nine months.
Meanwhile, Chelsea star Sam Kerr will be another name to watch out for.
The Australian finished third in the 2021 vote and won the WSL Golden Boot for the second year in a row last season.
US star Alex Morgan, who is currently joint top scorer in the NWSL, also has the chance to follow in Rapinoe’s footsteps.
This year’s ceremony will take place in October, with nominees expected to be revealed soon.