The Ballon d’Or was created to honor the best football player, initially only from Europe but later the world, in 1956.
But it was not until 2018 that France Football, the iconic publication that has awarded the prize for most of its history, also created a female counterpart – the Ballon d’Or Feminine.
As the women’s game continues to grow and grow in popularity, the winners of the prize have already become well-known names for football as a whole.
Here’s who’s in the Ballon d’Or Feminin honor roll so far.
Ada Hegerberg was the first recipient of the Ballon d’Or Feminin / FRANCK FIFE / GettyImages
2nd: Pernille Harder3rd: Dzsenifer Marozsan
Lyons superstar Ada Hegerberg was a well-deserved first winner ever of the Ballon d’Or Feminine when she won the 2018 trophy.
Hegerberg had ended the club season 2017/18 with more than 50 goals, of which 15 in the Champions League. She had also started 2018/19 in a windy way, which ensured that she stood out as the very best 2018.
Megan Rapinoe led the USA to the honor of the World Cup 2019 / Marc Atkins / GettyImages
2nd: Lucy Bronze3rd: Alex Morgan
Megan Rapinoe dominated the headlines on and off the field in 2019 and made her voice heard in the fight for gender equality and later became the star of the World Cup.
The American scored all four of her country’s goals in quarter- and semifinal victories, as well as in the finals. She finished with the World Cup trophy and with individual gold ball and gold boot prizes.
The effects of the coronavirus pandemic led France Football to decide not to go ahead with the 2020 Ballon d’Or awards.
Only in January and February were matches played under normal conditions, and even when the matches resumed, unusual circumstances – such as playing behind closed doors – made it difficult to judge by normal qualifications. Some players also saw that competitions were canceled, which made comparisons unfair.
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