The Prestigious Feminine Ballon d'Or: Honoring the Women's Player of the Year

The Prestigious Feminine Ballon d’Or: Honoring the Women’s Player of the Year

The Ballon d’Or, an esteemed award in the world of soccer, has long been recognized as a symbol of excellence and achievement. While it has predominantly focused on honoring male players, the recognition of women’s achievements in the sport has gained significant momentum in recent years. In 2018, the prestigious Feminine Ballon d’Or was introduced as a means to honor the Women’s Player of the Year. This article delves into the origin of the Ballon d’Or, the significance of recognizing women’s achievements, the criteria for winning the Feminine Ballon d’Or, previous winners, and the controversies surrounding this esteemed award.

The Origin of the Ballon d’Or

The Ballon d’Or, French for “Golden Ball,” was established in 1956 by France Football magazine. It was initially created to honor the best male player in European football. The award gained prominence over the years and became one of the most prestigious individual accolades in the sport.

Recognition of Women’s Achievements

In light of the growing popularity and success of women’s football, there was a growing demand for recognition of female players. The need to celebrate their achievements and contributions to the sport led to the establishment of the Feminine Ballon d’Or.

The introduction of the Feminine Ballon d’Or has been a significant step towards gender equality in soccer. It showcases the growing recognition of women’s talent, skill, and dedication to the sport.

The Criteria for Winning the Feminine Ballon d’Or

The criteria for winning the Feminine Ballon d’Or mirror those of its male counterpart. The award is given to the best women’s player in the world over the course of the calendar year. A panel of international journalists, coaches, and national team captains vote for their top five nominees. The criteria include individual performance, team success, leadership, and sporting behavior.

The players who receive the most votes are shortlisted, and the winner is announced at a glamorous ceremony attended by some of the biggest names in football.

Previous Winners of the Feminine Ballon d’Or

The Feminine Ballon d’Or has seen several exceptional players being recognized for their outstanding performances. Here are the previous winners of this prestigious award:

List of Women’s Ballon d’Or (Ballon d’Or Féminin) Award Winners

The Prestigious Feminine Ballon d'Or: Honoring the Women's Player of the Year
2023Aitana BonmatíSpainBarcelona
2022Alexia PutellasSpainBarcelona
2021Alexia PutellasSpainBarcelona
2020not awarded due t Covid-19
2019Megan RapinoeUSAReign FC
2018Ada HegerbergNorwayOlympique Lyonnais

All three winners have left an indelible mark on women’s football and have showcased exceptional skill, leadership, and passion for the game.

2023 Women’s Ballon d’Or Nominees

The nominees for the 2023 Women’s Ballon d’Or are locked in and we can expect a new winner with two-time defending holder Alexia Putellas out of the running.

 Feminine Ballon d'Or: Honoring the Women's Player of the Year
Player NominatedClub/Country
Aitana BonmatíBarcelona/Spain
Millie BrightChelsea/England
Linda CaicedoReal Madrid/Colombia
Olga CarmonaReal Madrid/Spain
Rachel DalyAston Villa/England
DebinhaKansas City Current/Brazil
Kadidiatou DianiLyon/France
Mary EarpsManchester United/England
Patri GuijarroBarcelona/Spain
Yui HasegawaManchester City/Japan
Amanda IlestedtArsenal/Sweden
Sam KerrChelsea/Australia
Mapi LéonBarcelona/Spain
Katie McCabeArsenal/Ireland
Hinata MiyazawaManchester United/Japan
Lena OberdorfVfL Wolfsburg/Germany
Asisat OshoalaBarcelona/Nigeria
Ewa PajorVfL Wolfsburg/Poland
Salma ParallueloBarcelona/Spain
Alexandra PoppVfL Wolfsburg/Germany
Hayley RasoReal Madrid/Australia
Alba RedondoLevante/Spain
Guro ReitenChelsea/Norway
Wendie RenardLyon/France
Fridolina RolföBarcelona/Sweden
Jill RoordManchester City/Netherlands
Khadija ShawManchester City/Jamaica
Sophia SmithPortland Thorns/USA
Georgia StanwayBayern Munich/England
Daphne van DomselaarAston Villa/Netherlands

Controversies Surrounding the Feminine Ballon d’Or

While the introduction of the Feminine Ballon d’Or has been a step forward, it has not been without controversy. One major controversy arose in 2018 when Ada Hegerberg was asked to twerk on stage after receiving the award. The incident highlighted the ongoing issues of sexism and lack of respect towards female athletes.

Another point of contention is the lack of exposure and media coverage of the Feminine Ballon d’Or compared to its male counterpart. This disparity further amplifies the challenges female athletes face in gaining recognition and equality in the sport.

Efforts are being made to address these controversies and create a more inclusive and respectful environment for women in football.

In conclusion, the introduction of the Feminine Ballon d’Or has been a significant milestone in recognizing and honoring the achievements of women in soccer. It represents a step towards gender equality and provides a platform to showcase the extraordinary talent and dedication of female players. While there have been controversies and challenges along the way, the Feminine Ballon d’Or continues to inspire and empower women in the world of football.

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