A number of Chelsea players are in contention to receive awards at tonight’s prestigious Ballon d’Or ceremony. Before the winners are revealed, here’s everything you need to know...
No less than 10 Blues are in the running to be honoured at the ceremony in Paris, with nine of them hoping to become the first person ever to receive the Ballon d’Or while a Chelsea player, although Ruud Gullit, George Weah and Andriy Shevchenko did win before moving to Stamford Bridge, while Frank Lampard came second in the 2005 voting.
What awards are up for grabs?
Four separate awards will be presented at the ceremony. The most prestigious are, of course, the Ballon d’Or and the Ballon d’Or Feminin, for the best male and female footballers playing in Europe over the last 12 months, as voted for by journalists, as well as the managers and captains of European national teams.
In addition, there is the Raymond Kopa Trophy for the best players under the age of 21 and the Lev Yashin Trophy for the best goalkeeper, with the winners of both being chosen by former Ballon d’Or winners.
When and where will the winners be announced?
The 65th Ballon d’Or ceremony will see it return to its regular venue, the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, after last year’s was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The on-stage action is scheduled to begin at 7.30pm UK time tonight and last approximately 90 minutes.
Which Chelsea players are in the running for the Ballon d’Or?
Four of the 29 people named on the Ballon d’Or shortlist have played for the Blues over the past year, hoping to join the illustrious list of winners since the award was founded by France Football magazine in 1956.
Midfield trio Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mason Mount are all included following their role in our Champions League triumph last season, while Jorginho and Mount also helped their countries reach the Euro 2020 final over the summer, the former emerging victorious in that competition too.
The fourth name on the list from Stamford Bridge is Romelu Lukaku, who has scored 36 goals for club and country in the last year, either side of the Belgian’s move from Inter Milan to Chelsea for the 2021/22 season.
What about Edouard Mendy?
Unfortunately for Edou, it is notoriously difficult for goalkeepers to win the Ballon d’Or. In fact, it has happened just once, when Lev Yashin took the award in 1963, which is why there is now a separate award for the best goalkeeper named after the Russian legend.
Mendy has a chance to receive the second-ever Yashin Trophy, being named among the 10 nominees and having already received the 2020/21 UEFA award for the best goalkeeper in the Champions League.
Are Chelsea Women in contention too?
Absolutely. There are no less than five nominees from Kingsmeadow after arguably Chelsea Women’s most successful season to date, as 2020/21 saw Emma Hayes’s side retain our Barclays Women’s Super League title, lift the Continental League Cup and reach the Champions League final for the first time.
Chelsea’s nominees are led by captain Magdalena Eriksson, who is joined by midfielders Jessie Fleming and Pernille Harder, with the latter having come second in the voting for the inaugural award in 2018, while representing Wolfsburg.