October 23, 2019 12:57
Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur has been nominated for the Ballon d'Or, an annual award honoring the best player in all European leagues.
France Football, the French weekly that presents the prestigious award, on Tuesday announced its list of 30 finalists.
Son is the only Asian player on the shortlist, which also includes Sergio Agüero of Manchester City, Lionel Messi of Barcelona, Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus and Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool.
The winner is determined by a vote among football journalists, as well as national team coaches and captains.
Son is the third Korean to be nominated for the award, after Seol Ki-hyun in 2002, who played for RSC Anderlecht in the Belgian league, and Park Ji-sung in 2005, who was then with Manchester United in the English Premier League. At those times there were 50 finalists and the two failed to garner a single vote.
Meanwhile, Lee Kang-in of Valencia CF has been nominated for the Kopa Trophy, which is given to the best player under the age of 21. Lee, who won the Golden Ball at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland in June, is the youngest nominee on the 10-player shortlist, which also includes João Félix of Atlético Madrid, Mattéo Guendouzi of Arsenal and Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund.
The Kopa Trophy, also presented by France Football, was created last year, with Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain named the inaugural winner.
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