Ballon d’Or: France football magazine to present award to best female player

Lieke Martens of the Netherlands (right) is the current holder of Fifa’s rival award
A Ballon d’Or for the best female player of the year will be awarded for the first time at the end of 2018,National Daily learnt.

The prestigious award has been presented to a male player every year since Stanley Matthews won the inaugural accolade in 1956.

A list of 15 nominees for the women’s prize will be announced in October by France Football magazine, alongside the 30-strong male list.

This year’s award ceremony will take place in Paris on 3 December.

“Women’s soccer is a booming discipline that deserves the same respect as men’s soccer,” said magazine editor in chief Pascal Ferre.

“It’s coming to maturity and growing bigger. More than 760 million TV viewers watched games at the last women’s World Cup in 2015 – this did not happen by chance.”

France Football magazine merged its award with the Fifa world player of the year award in 2010, but the pair split again two years ago.

The world governing body also awards a trophy to the best female player at its rebranded Best Fifa Football Awards. American Carli Lloyd and Lieke Martens from the Netherlands won the first two editions after it was introduced in 2016.