The nominees for the 2023 Ballon d’Or were announced on Wednesday, with just one Liverpool name on the 30 strong shortlist for the men’s award.
That man? Yup, you guessed it, Mohamed Salah.
Liverpool’s number 11 kept up his impressive record of nominations for football’s most coveted individual award, landing his fifth straight nod – it might’ve been six but for the award being cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.
In fact, the Reds’ record Premier League goalscorer has been on the shortlist every available year since his 2017 move to Anfield.
Mohamed Salah’s Ballon d’Or record
However, despite his annual recognition, Salah has never made it onto the podium for the ceremony, with his highest placement – as judged by France Football’s invited selection of international journalists – coming in 2019 and 2022 when he was voted into fifth.
- 2018 – 6th
- 2019 –5th
- 2021 – 7th
- 2022 – 5th
So, Salah has never lifted the golden ball to be crowned the world’s best player, but which Liverpool players have?
Which Liverpool players have won the Ballon d’Or?
Though Kevin Keegan won back to back awards shortly after leaving Anfield, only one player has won the Ballon d’Or while still playing for Liverpool and that is Michael Owen in 2001.
The former striker, just 22 at the time, enjoyed an impressive calendar year, during which he scored 31 goals and played a starring role in a famous treble with Gerard Houllier’s side.
Among his highlights from the year, Owen netted an iconic late brace to win the FA Cup final against Arsenal and scored a hat-trick in England’s 5-1 win over Germany.
Narrowly beating out Real Madrid forward Raul to the honour, Owen became only the fourth Englishman to win the award after Stanley Matthews (1956), Bobby Charlton (1966) and Keegan (1978, 1979).
No British player has lifted the trophy in the 22 years since.
Which Liverpool players have made the Ballon d’Or top three?
Prior to Owen’s honour, Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish came second to Michel Platini in the Ballon d’Or rankings back in 1983, after scoring 20 goals in all competitions as Bob Paisley’s side won a First Division and League Cup double.
Steven Gerrard, unsurprisingly, was on the podium in 2005, coming third behind Ronaldinho (first) and Frank Lampard (second) after the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’.
Fernando Torres also finished third three years later in 2008, following his Euros final winning goal for Spain and breakout season at Anfield. The forward inevitably was beaten to the trophy by Cristiano Ronaldo (first) and Lionel Messi (second).
Most recently Virgil van Dijk came second in 2019 after the Reds’ latest Champions League triumph. Despite winning the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award, the Liverpool captain was narrowly outvoted in favour of Lionel Messi.
Though he had already left Liverpool by the time of the ceremony, Sadio Mane also finished second in the voting in 2022 – having excelled for club and country as Liverpool reached the Champions League final, won a domestic cup double and Senegal lifted the Africa Cup of Nations.
Liverpool players in the Yashin and Kopa Trophy
Relatively new additions to France Football’s slew of awards (both were introduced in 2019), the Yashin Trophy (named after legendary Russian stopper Lev Yashin) is given to the best goalkeeper of the year, while the Kopa Trophy (named after Real Madrid and France star Raymond Kopa) is presented to the best player under the age of 21.
While Liverpool have never had a winner (or even podium finisher) for the Kopa in its first four years of existence, Alisson Becker won the inaugural Yashin Trophy in 2019 for his heroics during the Reds’ Champions League-winning campaign.
The Brazilian also finished as the runner-up to Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois in 2022, but was omitted – to the surprise of many – from the ten-man shortlist for 2023.
When is the Ballon d’Or?
This year, the Ballon d’Or ceremony will take place on Monday, 30 October at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.