Ballon d’Or rankings: Mikel Arteta sets challenge for two Arsenal players


Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta has challenged Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka to finish even higher next time on the Ballon d’Or ranking after the pair made it to the final top 30 nominees.

Arteta spoke at his pre-match press conference ahead of Arsenal’s Carabao Cup tie with West Ham United on Wednesday.

Recall that Messi won this year’s Ballon d’Or ahead of the likes of Manchester City striker Erling Haaland and Paris Saint-Germain forward, Kylian Mbappe, who finished in second and third place, respectively on Monday night in Paris.

Saka and Odegaard both received their first-ever nominations for the award, finishing a joint-28th and 24th on the 30-man list.

Asked if he had spoken to his players who made the Ballon d’Or list, Arteta told reporters: “Yeah, pride is always good, to look at yourselves next to those names and in those lists.

“So it’s a compliment for them, for what they’ve done. And now the challenge is to be higher up the list next season – because that would mean that you’ve done it again.”