Women’s Ballon d’Or: Ellen White and Fran Kirby on shortlist

Fran Kirby and Ellen White
Fran Kirby and Ellen White are competing to be the first English players to win a Ballon d’Or since Michael Owen in 2001

England’s Ellen White and Fran Kirby are on the 20-strong shortlist for the 2021 Women’s Ballon d’Or award.

Kirby, 28, helped Chelsea to win the Women’s Super League – scoring 16 goals in 18 league games, and being named the PFA and FWA player of the year.

White, 32, scored 15 goals in 32 games for Manchester City last season although they did not win a trophy.

There are five Chelsea players on the shortlist for the world’s best player, plus Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema.

The other Blues candidates are Magdalena Eriksson, Sam Kerr, Pernille Harder and Jessie Fleming.

Emma Hayes’ side are the joint-most represented team, along with European champions Barcelona.

This only the third edition of the Women’s Ballon d’Or. Ada Hegerberg won in 2018 and Megan Rapinoe in 2019 – with no award last year because of the Covid pandemic.

Denmark forward Harder, then at Wolfsburg, finished second in 2018 and England’s Lucy Bronze – not on this year’s shortlist – was runner-up in 2019.

The men’s award has been going since 1956.

The winner of the award, which is organised by France Football, will be announced on 29 November at Paris’ Theatre du Chatelet.

Women’s Ballon d’Or nominees

Alexia Putellas (Barcelona, Spain), Magdalena Eriksson (Chelsea, Sweden), Marie-Antoinette Katoto (PSG, France), Sam Kerr (Chelsea, Australia), Stina Blackstenius (Hacken, Sweden), Wendie Renard (Lyon, France), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage, USA), Pernille Harder (Chelsea, Denmark), Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal, Netherlands), Sandra Panos (Barcelona, Spain), Lieke Martens (Barcelona, Netherlands), Jessie Fleming (Chelsea, Canada), Irene Paredes (Barcelona, Spain), Ashley Lawrence (PSG, Canada), Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns, Canada), Ellen White (Man City, England), Christiane Endler (Lyon, Chile), Jennifer Hermoso (Barcelona, Spain), Fran Kirby (Chelsea, England), Kadidiatou Diani (PSG, France)

BBC News