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Son Heung-min nominated for 2019 Ballon d'Or

Sports 10:51 October 22, 2019

SEOUL, Oct. 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korean football star Son Heung-min has been nominated for the world's top player award for 2019.

Son was the only Asian player on the list of 30 nominees for the Ballon d'Or Award, presented by "France Football" magazine to recognize the top footballer each year. The list was announced in Paris on Monday (local time).

This image captured from France Foobtall magazine's website on Oct. 22, 2019, shows South Korean player Son Heung-min as one of 30 nominees for the annual Ballon d'Or Award. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Son scored some key goals to lift Tottenham Hotspur to their first UEFA Champions League final this year, and he ranked second on the team behind Harry Kane with 12 goals in the Premier League.

Son will be up against UEFA Men's Player of the Year Virgil van Dijk and a pair of five-time Ballon d'Or winners, Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus.

Son is the third South Korean to be nominated for the Ballon d'Or, after former Anderlecht forward Seol Ki-hyeon in 2002 and ex-Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung in 2005. There were 50 candidates in those years, and neither Seol nor Park earned a vote from international journalists.

The award ceremony is Dec. 2 in Paris.

In this photo provided by the Korea Football Association, Son Heung-min of South Korea (L) battles Han Kwang-song of North Korea (C) for the ball during the teams' World Cup qualifying match at Kim Il-sung Stadium in Pyongyang on Oct. 15, 2019. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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