Five NWSL players have been nominated for the 2018 Women’s Ballon d’Or, awarded by France Football magazine, which will be presented on December 3 in Paris. It’s the first time the award will be presented to a women’s player.
Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC/United States), Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars/Australia), Marta (Orlando Pride/Brazil), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC/United States) and Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns FC/Canada) are among the 15 nominees.
They are joined by: Lucy Bronze (Olympique Lyon/England), Pernille Harder (VfL Wolfsburg/Denmark), Ada Hegerberg (Olympique Lyon), Amandine Henry (Olympique Lyon/France), Fran Kirby (Chelsea/England), Saki Kumagai (Olympique Lyon/Japan), Amel Majri (Olympique Lyon/France), Dzsenifer Marozsán (Olympique Lyon/Germany), Lieke Martens (FC Barcelona/Netherlands) and Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyon/France).
The Ballon d’Or has been around since 1956, but only awarded to men’s players prior to this year. From 2010 to 2015, it was merged with FIFA’s World Player of the Year award for men, before FIFA’s The Best was established 2016 and the Ballon D’Or went back to being a separate award.
France Football says the award is voted on by select journalists, with one representative per country. It also says that the award is based on three main criteria: individual and team performance during the year, player talent and fair play, and the player’s career. [Details and rules]
This season in the NWSL, Horan, Kerr and Rapinoe were finalists for the NWSL MVP award, which was won by Horan. The three, as well as Sinclair, also made the 2018 NWSL Playoffs, with Horan and Sinclair reaching the NWSL Championship with Portland Thorns FC before falling to the North Carolina Courage in the final. Kerr won the Golden Boot, finishing as the league’s top scorer. Last month, Marta was named 2018 FIFA The Best Women’s Player.
— #ballondor (@francefootball) October 8, 2018