Sam Kerr on Ballon d'Or award shortlist

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Sam Kerr has made it into the 20-strong shortlist for the 2021 Women's Ballon d'Or, the prize for being the world's best footballer.

The Matildas captain has been rewarded for her goalscoring prowess over the year which has seen her win the Golden Boot as the top scorer in England's Women's Super League with Chelsea while also continuing to prove a totem for the Australian national team at the Olympics.

Kerr, whose goals helped Chelsea to a league/league cup double while also shooting them to the Champions League final, is again topping the scoring charts in the WSL this season after scoring six for the Matildas in Tokyo.

The 28-year-old is among five Chelsea players on the shortlist along with Denmark's Pernille Harder, Sweden's Magdalena Eriksson, Canada's Jessie Fleming and England's Fran Kirby, with whom she's struck up a prolific strike partnership.

The prolific Kerr was also among the goals in Chelsea's 3-3 Champions League draw with Wolfsburg on Thursday.

This is just the third edition of the Women's Ballon d'Or. Ada Hegerberg won in 2018 and Megan Rapinoe in 2019, but there was no award last year because of the COVID pandemic.

The men's 30-strong shortlist, which in contrast has been going on since 1956, is, as usual, led by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who've won the accolade 11 times between them.

Messi, following his move to Paris St Germain, is odds-on favourite, according to British bookmakers, to win a seventh Ballon d'Or, with Bayern Munich marksman Robert Lewandowski and Chelsea Champions League winner Jorginho the next best fancies.

The Ballon d'Or ceremony, which did not take place last year, is in Paris on November 29.

Men's nominees:

Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea, Spain), Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan, Italy), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid, France), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus, Italy), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City, Belgium), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus, Italy), Ruben Dias (Manchester City, Portugal), Gianluigi Donnarumma (PSG, Italy), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United, Portugal), Phil Foden (Manchester City, England), Erling Braut Haaland (Borussia Dortmund, Norway), Jorginho (Chelsea, Italy), Harry Kane (Tottenham, England), N'Golo Kante (Chelsea, France), Simon Kjaer (AC Milan, Denmark), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich, Poland), Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea, Belgium), Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City, Algeria), Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan, Argentina), Kylian Mbappe (PSG, France), Lionel Messi (PSG, Argentina), Luka Modric (Real Madrid, Croatia), Gerard Moreno (Villarreal, Spain), Mason Mount (Chelsea, England), Neymar (PSG, Brazil), Pedri (Barcelona, Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, Portugal), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, Egypt), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City, England), Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid, Uruguay)

Women's 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).

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