Sam Kerr and Hayley Raso have been rewarded for a brilliant World Cup campaign with the Matildas having been nominated for the prestigious women's Ballon d'Or award. The Matildas captivated Australia during their sensational semi-final run at the women's World Cup.
Kerr and Raso were just a number of names from the Matildas team that shone brightly during the tournament having fallen just short against England, before losing to Sweden in the third place play-off. Last week, Kerr missed out on winning her first UEFA Women's award for best player having finished second behind Spain's Aitani Bonmati.
The forward will be in the running for the Ballon d'Or award with Kerr finishing third in the last two editions of the award with many fans feeling she should have finished higher after a brilliant 2022/23 campaign with Chelsea in the Women's Super League. In a rather more surprising move, new Real Madrid signing Raso was also nominated in the 30-person list.
The Matildas winger enjoyed a fantastic campaign at the World Cup, which saw her star in the Denmark game to see the Aussies through top of the group. Raso recently confirmed her move from Manchester City to Real Madrid.
Kerr could very well finish in the top three players again for this year's award, but the favourite will be Bonmati having been a pivotal figure in Spain's maiden World Cup win. Six Spain players were named in the list.
Two-time winner Alexia Putellas is not on the list having spent most of the year injured with a serious knee injury.
Kerr may have been an automatic pick in the nominees having scored 29 goals for Chelsea across all competitions in 2023, which also includes her world class goal against England. But fans were also thrilled for Raso being rewarded for such a captivating World Cup campaign.
— CarefreeYouth (@CarefreeYouth) September 6, 2023
— CFC-Blues (@CFCBlues_com) September 6, 2023
Sam Kerr has been nominated for the Ballon d'Or since its inception in 2018, finishing on the podium on two occasions, both when she joined Chelsea. Where will she finish in the 2023 awards?
2023- ?#CFCW pic.twitter.com/NSp0SG5tvR
— Chelsea Women Daily (@CFCWdaily) September 6, 2023
Both Sam Kerr and Hayley Raso have been nominated for the womens' Ballon D'or this year. The best female football player on the planet. Go you good things. Totally deserved ❤️⚽🇦🇺 #Matildas
— @Mark's Little World (@markinhamilton2) September 6, 2023
Great news! Congrats to both
— Andrew (@amgsmith) September 6, 2023
Sam Kerr nominated after brilliant 2022/23 season
Both Kerr and Raso earning significant indivdual acknowledgment for their form is a huge sign for the Matildas. Kerr admitted she was hurting from the third-place playoff loss against Sweden, but both are 29 years old and will most likely appear in Australia's next World Cup. "I hope to be here. I am only 29. I think most of us will still be here if we have the opportunity," Kerr said about playing on to the 2027 World Cup.
"We have to play at our club. We have to play well and stay injury-free. There might be a few more babies maybe. I don't know. Four years is a long time but I hope the core group is still together.
"Of course there will be people come into the side and take someone's position and people that might not want to keep playing but at the moment I haven't heard talks of anyone retiring. As long as there are 22 spots everyone here will be fighting for four years to come."
Earlier this week, Kerr also finished runner-up behind Rachel Daly in the Professional Footballers' Association player of the year awards (the best player in England). Kerr's teammate Millie Bright joined her on the list, while the men's 'Golden Ball' saw World Cup winner Lionel Messi nominated. He is the favourite to take out the award, having recently moved to the Major League Soccer with Inter Miami after winning the World Cup with Argentina.
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