Bukayo Saka targeting Ballon d’Or win as Mikel Arteta backs star’s chances

Bukayo Saka already has his sights on winning the Ballon d’Or after making the award shortlist for the first time, Mikel Arteta has revealed.

The Arsenal star finished 24th for football’s most prestigious individual prize, claimed by Lionel Messi for a record eighth time on Monday in Paris.

Saka’s nomination in a shortlist of 30 was reward for a stellar season in which he spearheaded Arsenal’s title challenge and excelled for England at the World Cup in Qatar.

Messi’s latest success, on the back of Argentina’s World Cup win, is likely to signal the end of an era in which he and rival Cristiano Ronaldo have won all but two of the past 15 trophies between them.

Mikel Arteta believes Bukayo Saka can be crowned the world’s best. (AFP via Getty Images)

Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe and Jude Bellingham have been touted as potential heirs, but Arteta says Saka is also eyeing the prize.

“He does think about it,” Arteta said. “He wants to be the best and I have discussed it with him. It’s great they have those targets and that mindset.”

Asked whether he believed the winger could be crowned the world’s best player one day, Arteta added: “For sure.”

Saka’s captain at Arsenal, Martin Odegaard, finished 28th in the vote, while goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale was eighth in the race for the Yashin Trophy, awarded to the best goalkeeper and won by Aston Villa’s Emi Martinez.

“I’m so glad as well that we had a few nominated in those lists,” Arteta added. “It’s always good to look at yourself there next to those names and in those lists so it’s a compliment to them for what they’ve done.

“Now the challenge is to be higher up the list next season because that will mean you’ve done it again.”

Ramsdale has lost his place in Arteta’s side but should get a chance to stake his claim when Arsenal play West Ham in the Carabao Cup tonight.


Recommended For You

About the Author: soccernews