Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard have been included on the 30-man shortlist for the 2022/23 Ballon d’Or, presented by France Football magazine to the best player in the world.
The nominations come after a stellar 12 months that saw the duo spearhead Arsenal’s title challenge. Both players found the net 15 times last season with Saka making eight assists and Odegaard registering 11. Saka also impressed on the world stage, helping England to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Qatar.
Both players were nominated for a raft of other awards at the tail-end of the last campaign (Premier League Player of the Year, PFA Fans’ Player of the Year, FWA Footballer of the Year) but repeatedly missed out to Manchester City’s Erling Haaland.
More recently, Saka tasted success at the PFA Player Awards when he was voted Young Player of the Season. Yesterday, on his 22nd birthday, he was also confirmed as England’s best player for the second year running.
To determine the winner of the Ballon d’Or, a jury of 170 specialized journalists, one from each FIFA-affiliated country, will select five players with point values of six points, four points, three points, two points and one point. The winner will be revealed on Monday, October 30.
Realistically, our boys aren’t going to win, but we suspect they’ll be chuffed to get this far.
Earlier in the evening, it was confirmed that Aaron Ramsdale had been included on the 10-man shortlist for the Yashin Trophy awarded to the world’s best goalkeeper.
Arsenal Women are also represented on the Ballon d’Or Feminin shortlist thanks to the efforts of Katie McCabe and new signing Amanda Ilestedt.
30-man shortlist for 22/23 Ballon d’Or
Julian Alvarez (Man City)
Yassine Bounou (Sevilla and Al Hilal)
Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid)
Ilkay Gundogan (Man City and Barcelona)
Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)
Erling Haaland (Man City)
Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan)
Ruben Dias (Man City)
Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli)
Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt and PSG)
Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid)
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid and Al-Ittihad)
Andre Onana (Inter Milan and Man United)
Josko Gvardiol (RB Leipzig and Man City)
Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
Kim Min-Jae (Napoli and Bayern Munich)
Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur and Bayern Munich)
Lionel Messi (PSG and Inter Miami)
Rodri (Man City)
Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan)
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona)