The historic Canadian women’s soccer team could add to its legacy.
Three pillars of the gold medal team are in contention for the Ballon d’Or, awarded to the best soccer player in the world – the first time that Canadians have been nominated for this prestigious award.
But what is the Ballon d’Or?
Awarded by France Football magazine, the Ballon d’Or was awarded every year since 1956 until the pandemic suspended it in 2020.
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The magazine only started its female award in 2018, when Norwegian Ada Hegerberg won the award. American star Megan Rapinoe won in 2019.
The female and male winners will be announced on November 29. Journalists around the world vote from a shortlist of 20 women and 30 men to decide on the award.
This is separate from The Best FIFA Football Awards, for which Sinclair, goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé and coach Bev Priestman are nominated. These honors, voted on by fans, will be awarded on January 17, 2022.
Top Canadians in contention
Jessie fleming (Chelsea)
Fleming’s goal from a penalty kick in a 1-0 semi-final victory over the Americans in Tokyo will be one of the defining moments in Canadian soccer history. (The celebratory slide on the Canadian sideline was equally great.)
This was only the fourth time in 62 games that Canada has beaten the United States, and the first time since 2001. It also helped heal the wounds of the controversial 4-3 semi-final loss at the Olympics. of 2012 in London.
In total, Fleming scored on three penalties at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, including two in the gold medal game against Sweden, but more than that she was a machine in midfield, playing every minute of every game for the Canadiens.
For the club, Fleming joined Chelsea last season, winning the Women’s Super League and the FA Cup.
This year, she’s playing a bigger role, having appeared in eight games, starting four and scoring three goals.
Ashley Laurent (Paris Saint Germain)
At 26, multi-positional Lawrence already has 101 caps for Canada and was one of the team’s most important players at Tokyo 2020.
A modern full-back with both technical and physical speed, she is a threat in attack and also defends the most dangerous players in the opposition. Lawrence can also be deployed to the central midfield when needed.
Canada Soccer Player of the Year in 2019, Lawrence was also part of the Paris Saint-Germain squad which won a historic French league title last season.
Christine sinclair (Portland Thorns)
What else can you say about Christine Sinclair?
Captain Canada, 38, is the oldest contender and her lifelong achievements dominate the field of contenders.
She has an Olympic gold medal and two bronze medals as the Canadian women have climbed consecutively to the Olympic podium.
All-time top scorer in international football with 188 goals, Sinclair became the second player to score in five separate FIFA Women’s World Cups in 2019 (Brazil’s Marta is the other).
This season, she has led her club team to the Women’s International Champions Cup as well as the NWSL’s Challenge Cup and Supporters’ Shield.
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Sam kerr (Australia / Chelsea)
Kerr is a scoring machine for club and country.
Last season with Chelsea, she scored 21 goals in 22 games as the Blues won the Women’s Super League and FA Cup.
She was also the second-highest scorer at the Olympics, scoring six goals as the Socceroos finished fourth, losing the bronze to the United States.
Jenni hermoso (Spain / Barcelona)
Hermoso enjoyed another sensational campaign with Barcelona, winning the treble: UEFA Women’s Champions League, Primera Iberdrola and Copa de la Reina.
The 31-year-old striker was Primera Iberdrola’s top scorer for the third year in a row, with 33 goals and 14 assists, and she was the Champions League co-top scorer with six.
Spain did not participate in the Olympics.
Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands / Arsenal)
Miedema scored 10 goals for the Netherlands at the Tokyo Olympics, surpassing Sinclair’s previous record of six in a single edition of the Games.
The 25-year-old Arsenal forward and WSL all-time top scorer scored 18 goals for the Gunners last year, losing the scoring crown to Kerr.
Alexia Putellas (Spain / Barcelona)
UEFA Player of the Year, Putellas is probably the favorite to win the Ballon d’Or.
The 27-year-old is not only a midfield playmaker as her 16 assists suggest, she also scored 26 times last season, including a goal in the 4-0 win over Chelsea in Champions League final.