Earlier today, France Football announced the 15 female nominees for the 2018 Ballon d’Or award. For the first time in the award’s history, France Football will recognize female players as well as their male counterparts.
Seattle Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe has been named to the inaugural shortlist of female players. In her sixth year in the NWSL, Rapinoe racked up an impressive seven goals and six assists with Reign FC. She also broke the club’s all-time scoring record, surpassing Kim Little on July 7, and took home the ESPY Award for Best NWSL Player. Rapinoe is currently representing the U.S. Women’s National Team in the 2019 Concacaf Women’s Championship, vying for a berth to the 2019 FIFA World Cup in France.
The prestigious Ballon d’Or has been presented annually to the best male footballer by France Football since 1956. 2018 marks the first year female players have been nominated for the award. The 15 finalists were selected by France Football, and the winner will be chosen by a panel of international women’s soccer journalists.
The 15-player shortlist includes Rapinoe’s fellow NWSL players Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars), Marta (Orlando Pride), and Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns FC). In total, 11 nationalities are represented across the 15 nominees.
Below is the entire women’s Ballon d’Or shortlist, as announced by France Football:
Lucy Bronze (DEF — England / Lyon), Pernille Harder (FWD — Denmark / Wolfsburg), Ada Hegerberg (FWD — Norway / Lyon), Amandine Henry(MID — France / Lyon), Lindsey Horan (MID — USA / Portland Thorns FC), Sam Kerr (FWD — Australia / Chicago Red Stars), Fran Kirby (FWD — England / Chelsea), Saki Kumagai (DEF — Japan / Lyon), Dzsenifer Marozsan (MID — Germany / Lyon), Amel Majri (MID — France / Lyon), Marta (FWD — Brazil / Orlando Pride), Lieke Martens (FWD — Netherlands / Barcelona), Megan Rapinoe (FWD — USA / Seattle Reign FC), Wendie Renard (DEF — France / Lyon), Christine Sinclair (FWD — Canada / Portland Thorns FC)
The winner of the first-ever women’s Ballon d’Or will be revealed in an awards ceremony in Paris on December 3.