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Chelsea duo Sam Kerr and Millie Bright were among the 30 female nominees for the 2023 Women’s Ballon d’Or, along with Barcelona‘s Aitana Bonmatí, who helped Spain win the World Cup last month.

United States and Portland Thorns FC striker Sophia Smith earned her first nomination for the prestigious award, and World Cup revelation Linda Caicedo of Colombia was also picked as a finalist. However, Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas, who has won the women’s award for the past two years, was not one of the 30 names selected.

Australia international Kerr and England‘s Bright helped Chelsea to last season’s Women’s Super League title, while Putellas and Bonmati were both on Barca’s Champions League winning squad.

Kerr also helped guide Australia to the semifinals of the 2023 World Cup this summer and Bright was part of the England team that lost to Spain in the final. Caicedo, who plays her club ball for Real Madrid, led Colombia to a surprise quarterfinal appearance in Australia and New Zealand before losing to England.

NWSL MVP Smith and her United States team lost in a shootout to Sweden in the round of 16 in a disappointing World Cup for the Americans that led to the departure of manager Vlatko Andonovski.

The awards for the best men’s and women’s player in the world will be presented on Oct. 30.

France Football magazine has given out the award to men every year since 1956 and to women each year since 2018 — when Ada Hegerberg became the first female winner — though both were canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic.



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