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Horan and Rapinoe nominated for Ballon d’Or

Two Americans are on the list as France Football presents the first women’s Ballon d’Or

Soccer: She Believes Cup Womens Soccer -England at USA Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Lindsey Horan and Megan Rapinoe have been nominated for France Football’s Ballon d’Or award. They are two of fifteen total nominees.

A history refresher: the Ballon d’Or was originally presented by France Football but from 2010 to 2016, the award merged with FIFA’s World Player of the Year award. Afterwards, the awards split again, with FF taking back the Ballon d’Or and FIFA naming their awards “The Best.” The Ballon d’Or was also technically only for the men, with FIFA’s women’s award still being called the “Women’s World Player of the Year.”

You might recall that Marta won the latest FIFA Best award, with Megan Rapinoe as the lone American to make the shortlist of 10 players. Rapinoe again returns to a short list, accompanied by quite a lot of international talent. Here’s the full list of nominees:

Lucy Bronze (England)
Pernille Harder (Denmark)
Ada Hegerberg (Norway)
Amandine Henry (France)
Lindsey Horan (USA)
Fran Kirby (England)
Sam Kerr (Australia)
Saki Kumagai (Japan)
Amel Majri (France)
Dzsenifer Marozsan (Germany)
Marta (Brazil)
Lieke Martens (Netherlands)
Megan Rapinoe (USA)
Wendie Renard (France)
Christine Sinclair (Canada)

Of the two Americans on this list, Lindsey Horan probably had a better year than Megan Rapinoe, although to be fair Rapinoe was out for part of the NWSL season with injury. They’re both currently crucial components of the USWNT starting XI, though, and Rapinoe has been lighting it up for both club and country when healthy.

The odds of either one actually winning the award? Assuming FF is better than the voters for FIFA Best, and assuming the voting period covers all of the last year, Horan would probably be a fine choice for a short list of five. But overall, someone like Pernille Harder or Wendie Renard, both of whom helped guide their clubs to the Champions League final this year, will probably be the top candidate.

Who do you think should win the award? Were any other Americans snubbed from the list?