Son Heung-min becomes highest-ranked Asian player in men’s Ballon d’Or history

  • Tottenham Hotspur footballer Son Heung-min became the highest-ranked Asian player in Ballon d’Or history, reaching 11th place on Monday.
  • Son was ranked higher than other athletes such as 37-year-old Manchester United member and five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, who reached No. 20 this year.
  • He is the third Korean to be nominated for the Ballon d’Or following Seol Ki-hyeon in 2002 and Park Ji-sung in 2005. He is also reportedly the only Asian athlete who was nominated this year for the prestigious football award.
  • Son’s Ballon d’Or ranking came after a stellar performance last season, where he received the Premier League’s Golden Boot for scoring 23 goals.

Tottenham Hotspur footballer Son Heung-min has surpassed several superstar athletes in the 2022 men’s Ballon d’Or rankings, making him the highest-ranked Asian football player in the annual football award’s history.

Son, 30, reached No. 11 this year, according to the rankings that were released on Monday. He ranked higher than other athletes such as 37-year-old Manchester United member and five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, who was placed at No. 20 this year.

Son’s Ballon d’Or ranking came after a stellar performance last season, where he received the Premier League’s Golden Boot for scoring 23 goals. He also made nine assists during the season.

Son is the third Korean to be nominated for the Ballon d’Or following Seol Ki-hyeon in 2002 and Park Ji-sung in 2005. He is also reportedly the only Asian athlete who was nominated this year for the prestigious football award.

Starting this year, the rankings consider a player’s performance during the previous season instead of during the current calendar year.

Besides this year’s high Ballon d’Or ranking, Son has won the Best Footballer in Asia award for five consecutive years, and back in 2020, he won FIFA’s Puskás Award.

Featured Image via Tottenham Hotspur

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