This year’s Ballon d’Or Féminin nominees have been released in their entirety. This is the third year for the coveted award, which was first won by Ada Hegerberg in 2018 and then by Megan Rapinoe the following year.
Here is the complete list of 2021 Ballon d’Or nominees, along with an explanation of why each player was chosen.
Alexia Putellas: Barcelona & Spain
Alexia Putellas, a Barcelona veteran, had a 2021 season that was dripping with gold. The midfielder won the Primera Iberdrola title, as well as the Copa de la Reina, and helped Barcelona become the first Spanish team to win the Champions League.
Magdalena Eriksson: Chelsea & Sweden
Last season, the Chelsea captain led her team to their fourth Women’s Super League title, with only one loss and ten goals conceded. Eriksson led the Blues to Community Shield and Continental Cup victories. They came up just short in the Champions League, finishing second to Barcelona in the final.
Sam Kerr: Chelsea & Australia
Sam Kerr had her finest WSL season yet, winning the Golden Boot after scoring an incredible 21 goals and adding eight assists. With Chelsea, he won three trophies and was awarded to the PFA Women’s Super League Team of the Year.
Marie-Antoinette Katoto: PSG & France
Marie-Antoinette Katoto was instrumental in PSG’s Division 1 Féminine victory. The 22-year-old finished the season as her team’s leading scorer and second in the league behind Khadija Shaw with 21 goals.
Stina Blackstenius: BK Häcken & Sweden
Stina Blackstenius was a key figure in Sweden’s successful Olympic campaign this summer. The Swedes beat Japan and Australia to reach the final in Tokyo, where they were defeated by Canada, with Blackstenius scoring the game’s only goal.
Wendie Renard: Lyon & France
Wendie Renard was a reliable contributor to Lyon’s bid for a 15th French league title. Even though the title was not to be, the defender set an example on the field by putting in some incredible attacking efforts.
Sam Mewis: NC Courage & USA
Last season, the American international had a loan stay at Manchester City, where she competed for the WSL title before falling short to Chelsea. The midfielder scored two crucial goals in Man City’s postponed 2019/20 FA Cup victory run, scoring against Arsenal in the semi-final and Everton in the final for the club’s third win in the competition.
Pernille Harder: Chelsea & Denmark
Pernille Harder, like her Chelsea counterparts on this list, won three titles with the Blues last season. She had nine goals and three assists in the WSL season.
Sandra Paños: Barcelona & Spain
The Barcelona goalkeeper was selected to the UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season after playing a key role in her team’s treble-winning season.
Vivianne Miedema: Arsenal & The Netherlands
Vivianne Miedema was as clinical as ever in Arsenal’s attack last season, despite the team’s struggles in the WSL. Only Chelsea’s Sam Kerr had more goals and assists than the Dutch star at the end of the season.
Jessie Fleming: Chelsea & Canada
Jessie Fleming not only had a successful season with Chelsea, but she was also a national hero on the Olympic stage. The midfielder was instrumental in Canada’s gold medal run, scoring the game’s first goal and the first penalty of the shootout against Sweden.
Irene Paredes: Barcelona & Spain
Irene Paredes joined Barcelona this summer from PSG, where she had won the D1 title. She was then named to the Squad of the Season for her efforts with Barca in the Champions League.
Ashley Lawrence: PSG & Canada
The versatile midfielder was part of the Canadian team that won its first-ever gold medal at the Olympic Games this summer, as well as winning her maiden French crown with PSG.
Lieke Martens: Barcelona & The Netherlands
Lieke Martens scored 20 goals and added 16 assists for Barcelona during their treble-winning season. Before representing the Netherlands at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, she was nominated for the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year Award.
Christine Sinclair: Portland Thorns & Canada
Christine Sinclair, a Canadian hero, has had a fantastic year. In Tokyo, the forward earned her 300th cap for her country and guided them to their first-ever Olympic gold title.
Ellen White: Man City & England
Even though Man City barely missed out on the WSL title in 2020/21, Ellen White was an outstanding performer. The striker concluded the season with ten goals and five assists, solidifying her place in the Team GB Olympic roster for 2020.
Christiane Endler: PSG & Chile
Christiane Endler’s contributions at PSG are still being recognized, although she has departed the French club. The Chilean goalkeeper was named to the UNFP Football Team of the Year and was named Goalkeeper of the Year.
Jenni Hermoso: Barcelona & Spain
Jenni Hermoso created history last season in the Champions League. She not only helped Barcelona win their first European title, but she also finished the season as the joint top scorer, making her the first Spaniard to do so.
Fran Kirby: Chelsea & England
Fran Kirby made a spectacular recovery after being sidelined for several months due to sickness. The forward ended the 2020/21 WSL season with a stunning 16 goals and 11 assists as if she’d never been away.
Kadidiatou Diani: PSG & France
Last season, Kadidiatou Diani, a French international, won her maiden D1 title with PSG. After a fantastic 2021/22 domestic season in which she scored 13 goals and added nine assists, she was crowned the league’s Player of the Year.