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Sam Kerr pipped by Bonmati for women's Ballon D'Or

Barcelona and Spain midfielder Aitana Bonmati has won women's soccer's top individual honour, narrowly beating Sam Kerr who finished second in the voting.

FC Barcelona's and Spain's national team midfielder Aitana Bonmati holds the trophy as she receives the 2023 Women's Ballon d'Or award. Image AAP

Matildas star Sam Kerr has narrowly missed out on world soccer's top individual prize, finishing second in the Ballon D'Or voting behind Barcelona and Spain midfielder Aitana Bonmati.

It is the third time Chelsea and Australia forward Kerr has gone agonisingly close to the prestigious award, having also finished in the top three in 2021 and 2022. 

She was the only Matildas player to finish in the top 10 for the award, with Real Madrid winger Hayley Raso ranked 17th by voters.

Lionel Messi, who led Argentina to the World Cup in 2022, won the men's award for a record-extending eighth time in what was otherwise a relatively mundane season with club side Paris Saint-Germain.  

Now with MLS outfit Inter Miami, Messi had previously been awarded the Ballon D'Or in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021.

"I couldn't imagine having the career that I've had," Messi said. 

"Everything that I've achieved. The fortune I've had playing for the best team in the world, the best team in history. 

"To win the Copa America and then the World Cup, to get it done is amazing."

The 25-year-old Bonmati enjoyed a fine year for club and country - winning the La Liga Femenina and Champions League double before playing a pivotal role in Spain's Women's World Cup success in Australia, where she also won the Golden Ball award for top scorer. 

Her Spain and Barcelona teammate Salma Paralluelo was third. 

Manchester City were crowned the men's team of the season after Pep Guardiola's side delivered the treble of Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup. 

City's Erling Haaland won the Gerd Muller Trophy for the world's top-scoring striker after hitting a record 56 goals last season. 

Aston Villa and Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez won the Lev Yashin Trophy for goalkeeper of the year after his starring role in his nation's World Cup win. 

England international Jude Bellingham was voted the Kopa Award winner for the best under-21 player in the world. 

Bellingham has hit 13 goals in 13 appearances since moving to Madrid in the summer, including a double to lead Real to victory in his first 'Clasico' against Barcelona on Saturday, but his success was for last season - where he shone for Borussia Dortmund and England.


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