Katie McCabe has become the first Irish woman in history to be nominated for the Ballon d’Or Féminin. Thought to be the most sought-after individual award in football, the prestigious trophy honours one player across the world who is deemed to have performed best for both club and country over the previous season.
The shortlist was released on Wednesday, September 6, with the Dubliner contesting against 29 others, such as six Spanish players, Salma Paralluelo, Patricia Guijarro, Aitana Bonmati, Mapi Leon, Alba Redondo and Olga Carmona, who helped lead their country to World Cup glory. The nominees also include several popular names such as Sam Kerr, Mary Earps and Alexandra Popp.
— Ballon d’Or #ballondor (@ballondor) September 6, 2023
McCabe’s nomination comes after the openly LGBTQ+ athlete captained the Republic of Ireland to its first major tournament, where she scored a history-making wondergoal. Further, she was instrumental in helping Arsenal achieve a third-place finish in the Women’s Super League and reach the semi-finals of the Champions League, also earning a spot in the UEFA Team of the Season and winning her club’s Player of the Season award as voted by the public.
Reacting to the news, she wrote a brief message on social media, reading: “Very proud to be nominated among the best in the world!! Blessed”.
— Katie McCabe (@Katie_McCabe11) September 6, 2023
Not only is Katie McCabe the first Irish woman to be nominated for the Ballon d’Or, but she is also the first Irish person to be shortlisted since Roy Keane in the men’s category over 20 years ago.
The result is now in the hands of 100 journalists from FIFA’s 100 top-ranked member nations in women’s football. Each will select their top five picks in order, with each vote carrying a different value.
The award ceremony will take place at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on October 30, where the winner will be announced.
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