Women's Sports: Who will win the women's Ballon d'Or?

Ada Hegerberg of Norway won the inaugural Ballon d'Or in 2018

The Ballon d’Or crowns the best player in football.

The winner will be crowned during today’s ceremony in Paris, winning the title of 2019’s best female footballer of a shortlist of 20.

Two Lionesses feature in the list, Lucy Bronze and Ellen White who both put in some standout performances at this year’s Women’s World Cup in France. 

The Lyon defender, Bronze, has already won UEFA’s Women’s Player of the Year and Manchester City’s Ellen White was awarded the Bronze Boot at this summer’s World Cup.

They face tough opposition, however, as the world’s leading female footballers line up against them in Paris.

The USA’s Megan Rapinoe will be a contender for the award having won the Golden Boot during the World Cup this summer.

Tobin Heath, Rose Lavelle and Alex Morgan are three other players flying the flag for the USA.

Here’s a breakdown of the  20 nominated players of 2019:

Kosovare Asllani, Sweden, 30

Netherlands v Sweden: Semi Final - 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France

The Swedish forward has just scooped up the Forward of the Year award in Sweden's Football Gala so she could be on a winning streak heading into Paris.

Asllani has been dubbed the 'Female Zlatan' in her home country.

She currently plays for CD Tacon which will turn into Real Madrid's women's side in 2020 - Asllani will be the first Galactica.

Sarah Bouhaddi, France, 33

France v USA: Quarter Final  - 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France

The Lyon goalkeeper could lay claim to the title of best goalie in the world in the women's game alongside fellow nominee, Sari van Veenendaal.

2019 has been an especially successful one for Bouhaddi who has won the Women's Champions League, Division 1 Feminine and Coupe de France Feminine.

Lucy Bronze, England, 28

England Women Media Access

Lucy Bronze has already won UEFA's Women's Player of the Year Award in 2019 so the Ballon d'Or would be in good company on her awards shelf.

Bronze won the treble with Lyon this season and made an impressive display with the Lionesses in France, reaching the semi-finals.

Nilla Fischer, Sweden, 35

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Fischer was key to Sweden finishing third at the World Cup this summer and remains just as integral to her Linkopings side.

The centre-back is heading into the awards as one of the older nominees, but still retains influence in every team she plays in.

Pernille Harder, Denmark, 27

VfL Wolfsburg Women's Team Presentation

Pernille Harder did not feature at this year's World Cup as Denmark failed to qualify, however she still stands a chance.

Harder ranks as one of the best forwards in the world and is the top scorer in the Bundesliga this season with 15 goals.

Tobin Heath, USA, 31

Costa Rica v United States

A key member of the USA's World Cup winning side, Heath is a skilful forward player and is known for her signature nutmegs.

The American plays for the Portland Thorns and considering her teammates, it can be easy to forget just how important Heath is for the US national side.

Ada Hegerberg, Norway, 24

FBL-EUR-C1-WOMEN-LYON-BARCELONA

Year on year Ada Hegerberg continues to show just how great a footballer she is. The Lyon star won the treble in France this year and even though she opted out of playing at the World Cup, at 24 she has already achieved a huge amount.

This year she established herself as the all-time goalscorer in the history of the women's Champions League with 53 goals in 50 appearances. She has a better goal-scoring ratio than Brazil's legendary Marta.

Amandine Henry, France, 30

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Another Lyon star on the list of nominees, Henry is the Champion's League winning side's star midfield player.

Henry could be called one of the best female players of the decade, let alone the year. Her trophy cabinet includes accolades from the US and in France.

Sofia Jakobsson, Sweden, 29

Netherlands v Sweden: Semi Final - 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France

Jakobsson made the move to CD Tacon, soon to be Real Madrid, this summer from French side Montpellier.

The Swede is credited with pushing her national side into the semi-finals at the world cup during their clash against Germany.

Sam Kerr, Australia, 26

Australia Matildas Press Conference & Training Session

Sam Kerr is one of the most well-known figures in women's football as the all-time leading goalscorer in the USA's National Women's Soccer League and she has plenty left in the tank.

Kerr made the move to the UK this season, signing for WSL side Chelsea, and will be looking to make a similar mark in the English domestic league.

Rose Lavelle, USA, 24

United States of America v Netherlands : Final - 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France

Another massive component in the USA's World Cup winning side, Lavelle made a perfect finish to the competition, scoring in the final against the Netherlands.

Lavelle plays for NWSL side, Washington Spirit and is often praised by former USA head coach Jill Ellis as a future star.

Dzsenifer Marozsan, Germany, 27

England Women v Germany Women - International Friendly

Dzsenifer Marozsan has already been named Germany and France's player of the year for 2019 and the midfielder could still pick up the Ballon d'Or for her collection.

2019 saw the German win the Women's Champions League, Division 1 Feminine, Coupe de France Feminine with Lyon. 

Marta, Brazil, 33

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Marta is simply a footballing icon and not just in the women's game. She holds the record for the most goals scorer at FIFA World Cup tournaments with 17. In 2019 she became the first female footballer to score in five World Cups.

Marta is widely regarded as the best female footballer of all time and is often compared to her male Brazilian counterpart, Pele.

Lieke Martens, The Netherlands, 26

Netherlands v Sweden: Semi Final - 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France

Martens was instrumental in her Barcelona side reaching the Champions League final in the 2018/2019 season.

A toe injury sustained during the World Cup has sidelined her this season, but the midfield player is still a force to be reckoned with when fit.

Vivianne Miedema, The Netherlands, 23

Arsenal v Bristol City - Barclays FA Women's Super League

Fresh off her incredible performance in the WSL this weekend, being involved with ten of Arsenal's eleven goals scored against Bristol City, Miedema is the youngest nominee this year.

Miedema has scored more goals for The Netherlands than any other player, in both men's and women's sides. She was also named The PFA Player of the Year for 2019, scoring 22 goals last season.

Alex Morgan, USA, 30

The Best FIFA Football Awards 2019 - Show

Morgan finished as the tied top-goalscorer at the women's World Cup in France and so is a huge contender for the Ballon d'Or.

Morgan is leading the USWNT campaign for equal pay with their male counterparts and is a massive figure in women's football across the pond. She recently announced she will be having her first child next year so this could be the last nomination for a while.

She will face tough competition from fellow USWNT captain, Megan Rapinoe.

Megan Rapinoe, USA, 34

The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team Victory Parade and City Hall Ceremony

Megan Rapinoe emerged from the World Cup this summer as one of football's biggest activists for equality and diversity.

Rapinoe won the Golden Boot and Golden Ball in France and in September won the women's player award at the Best Fifa Football Awards.

Not only is she exceptional on the field, but she is also joining forces with her fellow USWNT players to strive for equal pay with their male counterparts, using her voice to champion female athletes.

Wendie Renard, France, 29

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Captain of Champion's League winners, Lyon, the French national team's stalwart is clearly a strong contender for the Ballon d'Or.

In 2019, Renard proved not only her defensive quality, but she also reached double figures for goal-scoring last season, proving herself as a talented all-round footballer.

Sari van Veenendaal, The Netherlands, 29

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Arsenal's former goalkeeper kept three clean sheets at the World Cup for her Dutch side.

She has since made the move to Spain and now plays for Atletico Madrid, one of the contenders to win the Spanish domestic league whilst continuing their Champion's League run.

Ellen White, England, 30

England Women v Germany Women - International Friendly

The Manchester City striker with the iconic celebration. Ellen White won the Bronze Boot in France and scored an impressive six goals to help the Lionesses reach the semi-finals, the same number as Rapinoe and Morgan.

A knee injury has kept her sidelined for much of the beginning of the season, but White is sure to be back to scoring when she makes a full recovery.

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