Sam Kerr has been named runner-up behind Spain’s Aitana Bonmatí for the 2023 Ballon d’Or — one of the most prestigious awards in football.
Kerr’s Matildas teammate Hayley Raso also made the top 20.
Argentina’s Lionel Messi won the men’s award for a record 8th time, 14 years after his first win.
What is the Ballon D’Or?
The French magazine France Football awards the annual Ballon d’Or prize.
The men’s award has existed since 1956, while the women’s category launched in 2018.
The magazine selects 30 nominees for each award, considered to be a group of the world’s best.
The winners are chosen by an international panel of 100 judges.
Women’s Ballon D’Or
The 2023 women’s winner, Aitana Bonmatí, plays for Spain and Barcelona FC.
Matildas captain and Chelsea star Sam Kerr finished second, her best-ever result after finishing third in 2021 and 2022. Fellow Matilda Hayley Raso came 17th.
Bonmatí was one of six Spanish players in the top 30, including two who did not participate in Spain’s recent World Cup squad over concerns around the behaviour of coach Jorge Vilda.
Men’s Ballon D’Or
Lionel Messi, who plays for Argentina and recently joined U.S. club Inter Miami, won the men’s Ballon D’Or for the eighth time.
This makes him comfortably the most-awarded player of all time, ahead of five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
Erling Haaland (Norway, Manchester City) came second and Kylian Mbappé (France, Paris Saint-Germain) came third. Manchester City had five players in the top 10.