Sporting Talent of the Decade Up for the Ballon d’Or Award

In the ever-evolving landscape of women’s football, the Women’s Super League (WSL) has shown to be the perfect environment for cultivating exceptional talent.

The Ballon d’Or ceremony, which is scheduled for Monday the 30th of October, promises to be a stunning meeting of the best football players in the world as it is every year. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to keep in mind that these awards, which were only introduced in 2018, are still relatively new in the world of women’s football. This illustrates the growing recognition of female players for this prestigious award

As we eagerly anticipate the start of the 23/24 WSL season, let’s emphasise some of the outstanding WSL players who have been nominated for the highly esteemed Ballon d’Or award for their achievements in the women’s game during the 22/23 season, especially with the unforgettable summer that has just passed.

Rachel Daly – Aston Villa

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In August 2022, the tenacious forceful English forward joined Aston Villa, beginning a new chapter in her football career; she scored 22 goals in as many games last season, making a spectacular impact. Daly’s outstanding performance was not limited to club football; she also significantly impacted England’s World Cup run this year, demonstrating her unrelenting dedication to club and country.

Katie McCabe – Arsenal

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Given that it was Ireland’s first-ever goal in a Women’s World Cup, Katie McCabe made history this summer with her breath-taking Olimpico strike against Canada in the World Cup. The achievements McCabe has made for Arsenal are outstanding, and they were crucial to helping her team reach the Champions League semi-finals last season. McCabe’s talent and dedication are shown by her ability to do the extraordinary on a national and club level.

Jill Roord – Manchester City

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Jill Roord contributed significantly to this year’s World Cup by scoring four goals in two games for the Netherlands, making her joint fourth on the top goal scorers list of the tournament. Roord flourished at Wolfsburg before joining Manchester City this summer for a club-record fee. Roord, who joined City in the summer, has a three-year contract that will keep her in Manchester until 2026. Even though she hasn’t participated in the WSL since her spell with Arsenal from 2019 to 2021, her six goals in 18 appearances in the most recent Frauen Bundesliga league suggest that she could be an effective midfielder for City.

Mary Earps – Manchester United

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Earps, the outstanding goalkeeper for England during this summer’s Women’s World Cup, was a solid foundation for her team; she played every minute of the competition, conceded only four goals, and was awarded the Golden Glove at the final whistle of the tournament.  About club achievements, Earps earned the golden glove and established a new WSL milestone by recording 14 league clean sheets in the 22/23 season. The outstanding accomplishments of Earps at the highest levels demonstrate her unwavering dedication to excellence.

Sam Kerr – Chelsea

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Despite experiencing difficulties due to injuries during Australia’s World Cup campaign, Kerr continued to excel during the tournament, helping guide Australia to its first-ever World Cup semi-final. Chelsea’s star striker had a significant impact on the league for her team, helping them to win the title for the third consecutive year. Since the female Ballon d’Or was introduced in 2018, Kerr has received annual nominations and has consistently been in the top 10, finishing third in 2021 and 2022.

Khadija “Bunny” Shaw – Manchester City

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With 20 goals in 22 appearances, the Jamaican star significantly impacted Manchester City in the 22/23 season. She continued her journey at the World Cup, where she was a member of the team that got Jamacia into their first-ever round of sixteen and thus created Jamaican football history. The Jamaican attacker advanced her place in women’s football history by setting a record for the women’s team last season by scoring 31 goals across all competitions while representing Manchester City, demonstrating her incredible ability.

To catch a glimpse of some of the Ballon d’Or nominations, the Women’s Super League (WSL) will begin on the 1st of October. Chelsea will be commencing their season at Stamford Bridge against local rivals Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal will take on Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium, and Aston Villa meet with Manchester United at Villa Park.

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