The women’s category has a total of 20 candidates, including Sam Kerr, Pernille Harder, and Vivianne Miedema.
Megan Rapinoe was the most recent winner, however, she was not among the final picks. Mewis is the only American who has been nominated.
On the list are Alexia Putellas, the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year, as well as three key players to Canada’s Olympic gold medalists: Jessie Fleming, Ashley Lawrence, and Christine Sinclair.
But who are the top 5 favourites?
1. Alexia Putellas (Barcelona)
In 2021: 33 goals, 25 assists. Won Primera Iberdrola, Copa de la Reina and Women’s Champions League.
The 27-year-old was an integral part of Barcelona’s treble-winning season, frequently donning the captain’s armband while contributing numerous goals and assists.
Putellas is the woman for the big event, scoring from the penalty spot in the UWCL final and being named MVP of the Copa de la Reina final after scoring twice. She is also a model of consistency in midfield for the Catalans.
2. Sam Kerr (Chelsea)
In 2021: 33 goals, 14 assists. Won Women’s Super League and Continental Cup.
Kerr maintained her form at the Olympics after a stellar season for Chelsea, in which she won the Golden Boot in her first full WSL season.
She nearly led Australia to a podium finish, scoring six goals in six games while wearing the captain’s armband, only to lose 4-3 to the USWNT in the bronze medal match.
After the controversial absences of Barcelona duet Caroline Graham Hansen and Aitana Bonmati, expect her to be knocking on the door of the top slots in this year’s voting.
3. Jennifer Hermoso (Barcelona)
In 2021: 35 goals, nine assists. Won Primera Iberdrola, Copa de la Reina and Women’s Champions League.
Jennifer Hermoso was named top goalscorer in Spain for the third season in a succession, and the fifth time in six seasons, as Barcelona won the treble, despite being in and out of the team owing to injury.
The 31-year-old was also Europe’s best scorer, and her all-around ability helped Barca have a fantastic season.
Her chances of winning the Ballon d’Or may be hampered by the fact that she missed the first two months of the new season due to an ankle ailment.
4. Fran Kirby (Chelsea)
In 2021: 24 goals, 21 assists. Won Women’s Super League and Continental Cup.
Fran Kirby was the best player in the Women’s Super League last season. The Chelsea forward thrived on a regular basis, especially in key games, and racked up a slew of goals and assists.
Her ability to play to Team GB’s Olympic campaign was curtailed by injury, but she should still be high on the Ballon d’Or voting list, given she has entered the current campaign in some form.
5. Lieke Martens (Barcelona)
In 2021: 25 goals, 17 assists. Won Primera Iberdrola, Copa de la Reina and Women’s Champions League.
After battling injuries in 2019-20, Lieke Martens dealt with them again last season, but she made the most of her time on the field.
Her performance in the UWCL final, which earned her a nomination for the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year award, will no doubt help her make up for it in the polls.
Her role in the Netherlands’ free-scoring offense in the Olympics will also have an impact.
6. Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal)
In 2021: 32 goals, 11 assists.
Vivianne Miedema’s ability is demonstrated by the fact that, despite not winning any titles with Arsenal or the Netherlands this year, she was ranked fourth among nominees for the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year award.
The Dutch forward has had another year of breaking records, especially at the Olympics, and has been on fire since the start of the new season.
Full list of nominees
- Kadidiatou Diani (PSG)
- Fran Kirby (Chelsea)
- Jennifer Hermoso (Barcelona)
- Christiane Endler (Lyon)
- Christine Sinclair (Thorns FC)
- Ashley Lawrence (PSG)
- Irene Paredes (PSG, Barcelona)
- Jessie Fleming (Chelsea)
- Lieke Martens (Barcelona)
- Sandra Panos ( Barcelona)
- Viviane Miedema (Arsenal)
- Ellen White (Manchester City)
- Pernille Harder (Chelsea )
- Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage)
- Wendie Renard (Lyon)
- Marie-Antoinette Katoto (PSG)
- Stina Blackstenius (Häcken)
- Magdalena Eriksson (Chelsea)
- Sam Kerr (Chelsea)
- Alexia Putellas (Barcelona)