Arsenal Women’s Katie McCabe on her historic Ballon D’Or nomination

Arsenal Women’s Katie McCabe on her historic Ballon D’Or nomination by Michelle

Weeks after being the first Irish woman to captain the Republic of Ireland in the World Cup, Katie McCabe made history again this week by becoming the first Irish woman nominated for the renowned women’s Ballon d’Or award.

McCabe was excellent for club and country in the 2022–23 season, scoring banger after banger. Katie was voted Arsenal Women’s Player of the Season, she won the Barclays WSL Goal of the Season AND she was the only Arsenal Women player to be in UEFA’s Team of the Season.

In an injury-plagued season for Arsenal, McCabe stood out; her versatility to play at left back and in attack was critical to the Gunners reaching the Champions League Semifinals, winning the Continental Cup, and finishing third in the 2022–23 WSL season. Katie also stepped up to captain our Gunners after both captain Kim Little and vice-captain Leah Williamson were both unavailable with longterm injuries.

For Ireland, she led them to their first World Cup, and despite a poor run, they will remember that tournament for McCabe’s fantastic goal direct off a corner kick, which was their only goal of the tournament. For Arsenal fans, the hope is that she wins the Ballon d’Or because she deserves it.

About her chance of competing with fellow top female footballers being the best, she acknowledges the support she had from her teammates, admitting on Arseblog: “It’s a first for an Irish women’s player, so it’s a really nice accolade on a personal level, but you can never achieve those things without your teammates.“For me, it is always about the team and how we compete and win trophies together; that is why I play a team sport. I love picking up trophies with my teammates, but it is always nice to be nominated for a Ballon d’Or, though I think it’s the first time I have said that.”

Amanda Ilestedt, in addition to McCabe, is a Ballon d’Or nominee this year. Ex-gunner Jill Roord and Arsenal transfer target Mary Earps also make up the 30-woman Ballon d’Or nominees.

Michelle Maxwell

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