Thursday, June 13, 2024

Saka secures Kopa Trophy nomination

France Football Magazine has included Bukayo Saka on their 10-man shortlist for the 2021 Kopa Trophy.

Named after the French footballer Raymond Kopa and selected by former Ballon d’Or winners, it has been running since 2018 and is presented to the best performing player under the age of 21.

Unlike the La Gazzetta Dello Sport’s Golden Boy award, which Saka is also nominated for, it is open to players outside of Europe.

Kylian Mbappe and Matthijs de Light took the title in 2018 and 2019 respectively before Covid forced a postponement last year.

Saka faces stiff competition for the award; England teammates Jude Bellingham and Mason Greenwood are also on the shortlist while Barcelona’s Pedri is the standout favourite.

France Football also confirmed the names of those who’d made the cut for the Ballon d’Or and the Women’s Ballon d’Or. Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema is on the latter.

2021 Kopa Trophy nominees:

Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
Pedri (Barcelona)
Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen)
Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund)
Mason Greenwood (Manchester United)
Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund)
Jeremy Doku (Rennes)
Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax)
Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)
Nuno Mendes (PSG)

2021 Women’s Ballon d’Or nominees

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

2021 Ballon d’Or nominees

Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)
Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)
Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
Ruben Dias (Manchester City)
Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain)
Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)
Phil Foden (Manchester City)
Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)
Jorginho (Chelsea)
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
Simon Kjaer (AC Milan)
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea)
Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan)
Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Gerard Moreno (Villarreal)
Mason Mount (Chelsea)
Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)
Pedri (Barcelona)
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid)

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No Willian?


Can’t clown Willian anymore. The man put 20 million back into the club’s pocket that he did not have too. He’ll never overcome his terrible play for us but his choice to release the club from its obligation to him…? Solid move. I’ll leave it there with the guy…


Sorry, it wasn’t 20mil was it. Anyway, you get the point…

Alan Sunderland

And the truth shall be you free


Saka is brilliant, but in my opinion these kind of awards for individuals are pretty meaningless.
2014, Messi gutted, collecting the Player of the Tournament award after Argentina had lost the final to Germany.

Johnny 4 Hats

Who is Azpilicueta sleeping with to get a Ballon d’Or nomination?

Johnny 4 Hats

I can just see him in dive bars in twenty years, drinking straight brandy and hitting on twenty somethings.

When he’s politely asked to leave by security, he shouts “Don’t you know who I am? I was fucking Ballon d’Or nominated”. “Course you were Cesar. You’re also ‘I’ve just wet myself’ nominated too. And you’re the only one in the category”.

Alan Sunderland

Maybe the fact he was the best defensive player on the team that won the champions league?

Johnny 4 Hats

I think we found out who’s sleeping with Cesar…

Alan Sunderland

Just a fact, Chelsea won the champions league. Why wouldn’t some of their players be nominated. You think partey should be on there with his 2 assists.


This ballon d’or nomination is totally rubbish… What is Azpilicueta playing that is special or even jorginho, Sterling and pedri, that my guys are not playing… None of arsenal player there,why

Johnny 4 Hats

I mean. You’d expect to at least see Rob Holding in there…

A Different George

He’s better than Cannavaro.


Harry Kane is in there. I’m guessing that’s not for his goal scoring record, so it must be recognition for that assist for Saka that he made after falling over.

Alan Sunderland

In the season the award is based upon premier league harry kane 23 goals 14 assists, cup competitions and England don’t know. Maybe partey should be on there, he completed 90 minutes 4 times, had 2 assists. He also has a shot on target against spurs and one he bent just wide against Brighton.

Alan Sunderland

Jorginho best midfielder on the the champions league and euros winning teams. Arsenals best midfielder completed 90 minute 4 times last season. It’s not difficult to figure out why no arsenal players were nominated.

Spanish Gooner

Just based on club form I’d just about make Bukayo the favourite, but Pedri was sensational at both the Euros and Olympics which will probably tip it in his favour. Either way it’s a sign that we need to get him in Rosick’s contract dungeon and get his signature on a bit of paper as soon as possible!


Saka was one of England’s better performers all the way to the finals at the same Euros… What are you saying?

Saka deserves this.

A Different George

So, not exactly on topic, but sorta connected: Raymond Kopa, after whom the award is named, was bought to play alongside Puskas and Di Stefano by Real Madrid, which won the first five European Cups. This was Franco’s (successful) sportswashing of Spain’s fascist regime. Real Madrid’s success, perhaps more than any other factor, helped make Franco’s Spain look like just any other European country. In fairness, Mohammed bin Salman did not come to power with the armed assistance of Hitler and Mussolini as Franco did. He murders his enemies individually (though bombing civilians seems to be a common thread). So… Read more »


Saka would never go there, he’s an intelligent and decent young man, and the fact that they’ve got some money doesn’t mean they’re going to hoover up all the best young talent in the world. I think this is going to be a slow burn, and we’re already ahead of the curve, with Liverpool and City having manager churn in the next year or two, Ole till the wheels fall off, and us with a young and growing manager and squad. The next few years will be interesting and we’ll have as good if not better chance than them. Even… Read more »

A Different George

I picked those players only as examples because they are already big stars at a young age. My concern is not that Newcastle United will be a successful rival, but that their success will make it easier to forget about the bombing of Yemeni children.

The Beast

That’s guaranteed to happen.

Human rights abuses apparently rank low on the list of concerns of supporters desperate to see their side win, pundits eager to call the prem league the best league in the world or administrators that see nothing wrong with the state sanctioned murder of a journalist.

Still, won’t it be great to witness another few seasons of some of the most brutal regimes playing irl championship manager?

Alan Sunderland

Emirates? Visit Rwanda? The ship sailed a long time ago for any premier league team to take the moral high ground. It’s been all about the money for a long way now.

The Beast

I agree 100%. What about my post suggested I was taking the moral high ground?

To be clear, I don’t blame the Newcastle supporters. They had no say in who bought their club & should’ve never been put in that position. Just like we have no say in who sponsors our club. That doesn’t mean ppl can’t speak out about it.

Alan Sunderland

Where do the Saudis get such weapons.

A Different George

I have no illusions about that issue; and I agree that the Emirates stadium and shirt sponsorship and Rwanda sleeve mean an Arsenal supporter ought to be careful about any claim to moral superiority. But it is also mistaken, I think, to say that after the first moral failure, it is no use protesting any next step.

Merlin’s Panini

You just have to look at City to see how this could work out. They were a mediocre club until their takeover and, season upon season, brought in better players who were not yet in their prime (Aguero, Kompany, Silva). Not all of them completely worked out but then that’s going to be the case with Mark Hughes as your manager. What they had by the time they sacked him was a competitive squad which was enough to convince Mancini. I think it’ll take 3-5 years for Newcastle to hit that level but I’m certain they will. They’ll be able… Read more »

Alan Sunderland

Think you might need to read up a bit about England’s colonial past. Glass houses and all that.

A Different George

No, I know all about it–but I don’t live in that house, and I doubt that you do either. Because Britain has a sorry history of imperialism and colonialism does not mean that English football supporters shouldn’t oppose the Saudi regime and protest its attempt to use football to clean its reputation. Or, for that matter, to jeer at a British government that points to a Euros final as evidence of its success in foreign policy.

The Beast

As a non-brit that’s lived in the UK for almost 25 years, can I criticise the Saudi regime or the prem league for not protecting the sport from like owners?

What point are you trying to make? Do you have to be from a country that’s suffered the effects of colonialism to make a point about human rights abuses?


Great for Saka. The world is learning what we’ve all known for three years now.

He’s one of the best young players in world football. Next year, Martinelli and ESR will be on the list…


These awards are complete rubbish. Although guess that I can’t be completely objective about this topic, as I cannot forget that year when Henry got robbed.

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