For the first time, a Ballon d’Or for the best female player of the year will be awarded at the end of 2018, France Football magazine announced on Monday.
The women’s Ballon d’Or award has only been open to male footballers until now, but a female counterpart will now be presented at France Football’s awards ceremony on December 3 in Paris.
“It is a step forward, women’s football is evolving and inequality is shrinking even though there is still room for improvement,” France and Olympique Lyonnais defender Wendie Renard told the magazine.
“I’ve always wanted to see a woman win this prestigious award,” Brazil’s Marta added.
The female Ballon d’Or award was partnered with FIFA from 2010 to 2015 when it became its own entity once again.
The sport’s world governing body paid tribute to the world’s best players at its Best FIFA Football Awards on Monday and guess who took it? – Luka Modric!
FIFA, which hands out end-of-year awards, already gives a trophy to who they deem is the best female footballer.
Lieke Martens, the Barcelona and Netherlands midfielder, was the female Ballon d’Or winner 2017.
France Football, the magazine responsible for handing out the award, honored English footballer Sir Stanley Matthews with the first Ballon d’Or in 1956.
The magazine is also launching an award for the best young player of the year, which will be named after Raymond Kopa – the first French Ballon d’Or winner who passed away in 2017.