helsea have no fewer than ten nominees in the running for the 2021 Ballon d’Or awards after the men’s and women’s shortlists were revealed on Friday.
Midfield duo N’Golo Kante and Jorginho are both included after playing an instrumental role in the Blues’ run to Champions League glory in Porto, while the latter also helped guide Italy to Euro 2020 success at Wembley.
Chelsea’s Mason Mount and captain Cesar Azpilicueta are also nominated along with Romelu Lukaku, who displayed superb goalscoring form for Inter Milan and Belgium before returning to Stamford Bridge for a club-record £97.5million fee during the summer transfer window.
Tottenham talisman and England captain Harry Kane joins the Chelsea quintet on the men’s list, as do fellow Three Lions Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden, with Ruben Dias, Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez also nominated from Manchester City, as well as Liverpool star Mo Salah.
Superstars Lionel Messi, Golden Shoe winner Robert Lewandowski, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Erling Haaland and Cristiano Ronaldo all make the cut as expected, with the latter joined by his Manchester United and Portugal team-mate Bruno Fernandes.
As well as Jorginho, Italy’s European Championship winners are also represented by penalty hero Gianluigi Donnarumma, captain Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Nicolo Barella.
Denmark captain Simon Kjaer – who drew widespread praise for his actions after Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest playing for Denmark against Finland at the Euros – is also on the shortlist, along with Atletico’s Luis Suarez, Real Madrid pair Luka Modric and Karim Benzema, Barcelona midfielder Pedri, Villarreal’s Europa League winner Gerard Moreno and Inter and Argentina frontman Lautaro Martinez.
Chelsea also have five nominations for the women’s award in Magdalena Eriksson, Sam Kerr, Fran Kirby, Pernille Harder and Jessie Fleming.
Kirby is joined by England team-mate Ellen White, with Arsenal centurion Vivianne Miedema also in the running, along with five candidates from reigning Spanish and European champions Barcelona – Uefa Player of the Year Alexia Putellas, Jenni Hermoso, Lieke Martens, Sandra Panos and Irene Paredes.
England trio Mason Greenwood, Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham are all nominated for the Kopa Trophy given to the best performing men’s player under the age of 21, while Manchester City’s Ederson, Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy, Leicester’s Kasper Schmeichel and Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez are all up for the Yashin Trophy for best men’s goalkeeper.
The Ballon d’Or awards return this year after being cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the ceremony to take place at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on November 29, with Chelsea icon Didier Drogba among the hosts.
Messi won his sixth Ballon d’Or in 2019, while USA star Megan Rapinoe collected the women’s award.