Son Heung-min becomes first Asian in 12 years to be nominated for Ballon d’Or

Son Heung min

Tottenham Hotspur and Korea Republic star Son Heung-min has become the first Asian to be nominated for the Ballon d’Or in 12 years.

The Spurs winger was one of the 30 names announced by France Football as nominees for the upcoming Ballon d’Or 2019 award. In this process, he became only the fourth Asian player, and the first in 12 years, to make the 30-man list.

Son was one of the most important players for Mauricio Pochettino’s side in 2019, who reached the final of UEFA Champions League, only to go down to Liverpool. He has started the 2019/20 season on front-foot as well and has already scored three goals and provided as many assists in 10 appearances across all competitions.


Before the Spurs star, Japan’s Hidetoshi Nakata was nominated for football’s most prestigious individual award back in 1998 and 1999. Former Manchester United star and Son’s compatriot Park Ji-Sung was nominated back in 2005 and Iraq’s Younis Mahmoud made the 30-man list two years later in 2007.

Mahmoud is also the only Asian player to have appeared in the final ranking of the awards as he earned two points in the voting process and finished 29th.