Serie A is well represented in the 30 candidates for the Ballon d’Or, for which Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland are the frontrunners. There’s just one Italian, Nicolò Barella. However, a few current and former Inter and Napoli players are among the nominees (via SportMediaset).
Lautaro Martinez, who contributed to Argentina winning the World Cup and the Nerazzurri making the Champions League final, Victor Osimhen, and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia made the cut. And so did André Onana, who joined Manchester United after a strong season with La Beneamata, and Kim Min-Jae, who’s at Bayern Munich after being an integral part of the Partenopei squad that lifted the Scudetto.
The Ballon d’Or ceremony will take on October 30th, and it’s unlikely Serie A will break its 16-year-old drought. The Italian league had back-to-back winners in 2006 and 2007, Fabio Cannavaro and Kaká.
France Football changed the format and will consider the 2002/2023 season instead of an entire year. Mike Maignan and Onana are in the running for the Lev Yashin Award as the best goalkeeper. Instead, former Atalanta starlet Rasmus Hojlund competes for the Raymond Kopa trophy as the top U-21 player.
Cristiano Ronaldo, the last Serie A player to make the Ballon d’Or podium, is absent from the pool for the first time in 19 years. Jorginho, who was at Chelsea at the time, came in third in 2021.
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