Lautaro Martinez is 21st, while Nicolo Barella is 26th in the voting for the 2021 Ballon d’Or, which is the 65th edition of the award ceremony linked to French magazine France Football.
The Inter duo feature among the list of 30 finalists thanks to their success with Inter and their respective national teams. Lautaro, who is joint 21st with Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes, won the Scudetto in 2021 and helped Argentina to Copa America glory, both of which represented long-awaited triumphs. The forward’s goals made a key contribution, with 17 in Serie A in 2020/21 and three in the Copa America, including one in the semi-final against Colombia.
It is also Barella’s first appearance on the shortlist for the Ballon d’Or, which was not awarded in 2020 due to the global pandemic. The Italian ranks 26th alongside Manchester City’s Ruben Dias and Villarreal’s Gerard Moreno. The midfielder performed consistently well throughout Inter’s Scudetto-winning campaign and racked up three goals along the way. The 24-year-old was also a mainstay in Roberto Mancini’s Italy side that pipped England to EURO 2020 glory at Wembley in July. Barella got on the scoresheet in the quarter-final victory over Belgium and is joined on the list by four other members of the Azzurri squad.
THE CRITERIA FOR BALLON D’OR VOTING
The Ballon d’Or, which is awarded by France Football, is based on votes by 180 journalists from 180 different countries. The same method is used for the Yashin Trophy and awards for coaches. The criteria which journalists are asked to consider when voting are:
- individual and team performances in 2021;
- the player’s talent and sporting nature
- the player’s career
Each voter selects five players from the 30 nominees and awards them points, with six for the first, four for the second, three for the third, two for the fourth and one for the fifth.