Today, France Football formally released the shortlist for the prestigious 2022 Ballon d’Or, awarded to the best player in world football, and two Tottenham Hotspur players picked up nominations.
Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane were both named to the shortlist. The winner will be announced in an awards ceremony on October 17.
This is Sonny’s second Ballon d’Or nomination. He became the first ever Asian player to be named a Ballon d’Or finalist in 2019, a year in which he placed 22nd in the voting. I would expect him to finish significantly higher in the rankings this season after having his best-ever season of production and joint-winning the Premier League Golden Boot in 2021-22.
Harry Kane is no stranger to the Ballon d’Or list, though he’s never been a regular. This is his fourth nomination — he finished tenth in the voting in 2017 and 2018, and 23rd in 2021.
As you would expect, the list is dominated by players from the biggest and best players in club football. Liverpool leads the way with six player nominations (seven if you include Sadio Mane, now at Bayern); Manchester City also has six, and Real Madrid has five.
This is also a historic list as it is the first time since 2004 that the final 30 doesn’t contain either Lionel Messi
I will let you guess how many Ballon d’Or nominated players there are from Chelsea and Arsenal (hint, it’s the same number).
For those who are curious, here is the full Ballon d’Or shortlist, in the order they were released by France Football.
- Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)
- Rafael Leao (AC Milan)
- Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig)
- Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
- Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)
- Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
- Vinicius Jr. (Real Madrid)
- Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
- Luis Diaz (Liverpool)
- Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona)
- Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
- Casemiro (Real Madrid)
- Son Heung-Min (Tottenham)
- Fabinho (Liverpool)
- Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
- Mike Maignan (AC Milan)
- Harry Kane (Tottenham)
- Darwin Nunez (Liverpool)
- Phil Foden (Manchester City)
- Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich)
- Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
- Sebastian Haller (Dortmund)
- Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid)
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
- Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus)
- Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
- Joao Cancelo (Manchester City)
- Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
- Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
Mea Culpa Update: So I goofed and jumped the gun, posting this list as a 20-person list instead of a 30-person list. It has been adjusted, and I regret the error.