2021 Ballon d’Or Shortlists Feature 10 Chelsea Players, Record Low NWSL Representation And More

The 30 nominees for the women and men’s Ballon d’Or were released on Friday with several big surprises. The Chelsea Ballon d’Or representation was at an all-time high with ten players (five women, five men) nominated for the award. 

Another interesting statistic was that in the third year of the women’s Ballon d‘Or award, the National Women’s Soccer League had the lowest nominee turnout yet. The NWSL players have much bigger fish to fry with fixing its league, but the latest Ballon d’Or announcement will sting a bit.

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Here are the shortlists for the 2021 Ballon d’Or.

Men’s Ballon d’Or Shortlist 2021

1. Nicolo Barella | Inter Milan and Italy
2. César Azpilicueta | Chelsea and Spain
3. Karim Benzema | Real Madrid and France
4. Robert Lewandowski | Bayern Munich and Poland
5. Leonardo Bonucci | Juventus and Italy
6. Romelu Lukaku | Chelsea and Belgium
7. Kevin De Bruyne | Manchester City and Belgium
8. Riyad Mahrez | Manchester City and Algeria
9. Giorgio Chiellini | Juventus and Italy
10. Lautaro Martinez | Inter Milan and Argentina
11. Cristiano Ronaldo | Manchester United and Portugal
12. Kylian Mbappé | PSG and France
13. Ruben Dias | Manchester City and Portugal
14. Lionel Messi | PSG and Argentina
15. Gianluigi Donnarumma | PSG and Italy
16. Luka Modric | Real Madrid and Croatia
17. Bruno Fernandes | Manchester United and Portugal
18. Gerard Moreno | Villareal and Spain
19. Phil Foden | Manchester City and England
20. Mason Mount | Chelsea and England
21. Erling Haaland | Borussia Dortmund and Norway
22. Neymar | PSG and Brazil
23. Jorginho | Chelsea and Italy
24. Pedri | Barcelona and Spain
25. Harry Kane | Tottenham and England
26. Mohamed Salah | Liverpool and Egypt
27. N’Golo Kante | Chelsea and France
28. Raheem Sterling | Manchester City and England
29. Simon Kjaer | AC Milan and Denmark
30. Luis Suarez | Atletico Madrid and Uruguay

Quick takeaways from the men’s shortlist:

  • Chelsea and Manchester City led the way tied with five representatives each.
  • 47 percent of the nominees play in the Premier League.
  • With Son Heung-min not making the cut this year only three continents were represented. (24 Europeans, 4 South Americans and 2 Africans).
  • Simon Kjaer — a key player during the scary Euros moment with Christian Eriksen — made the cut which made everyone feel good.

Winner Prediction: Lionel Messi

Women’s Ballon d’Or Shortlist 2021

1. Jennifer Hermoso | Barcelona and Spain
2. Fran Kirby | Chelsea and England
3. Kadidiatou Diani | PSG and France
4. Christiane Endler | Lyon and Chile
5. Ellen White | Manchester City and England
6. Christine Sinclair | Portland Thorns and Canada
7. Ashley Lawrence | PSG and Canada
8. Irene Paredes | Barcelona and Spain
9. Jessie Fleming | Chelsea and Canada
10. Lieke Martens | Barcelona and Netherlands
11. Alexia Putellas | Barcelona and Spain
12. Sandra Panos | Barcelona and Spain
13. Magdalena Eriksson | Chelsea and Sweden
14. Vivianne Miedema | Arsenal and Netherlands
15. Marie-Antoinette Katoto | PSG and France
16. Pernille Harder | Chelsea and Denmark
17. Sam Kerr | Chelsea and Australia
18. Samantha Mewis | N.C. Courage and United States
19. Stina Blackstenius | BK Hacken and Sweden
20. Wendie Renard | Lyon and France

Quick takeaways from women’s shortlist:

  • The USWNT and NWSL had the lowest turnout in the three-year history of the award. 
  • Barcelona has only ever had two nominees prior to 2021 and had five this year.
  • Lyon had its lowest ever nominee count with two. (7 in 2018 and 6 in 2019).

Winner Prediction: Vivianne Miedema

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