The women football game has received its inaugural winner of one of the world’s top Football decorations, the Ballon d’Or. The Ballon d’Or has been only to Men since 1956, when Matthews was the first winner till now (2018).
This is none other than the 23 year-old Norwegian forward and Olympique Lyon’s sharp shooter Ada Hegerberg. She is currently the female footballer in the world.
“It’s not that often that I use the word ‘proud’ but today I’m really proud,” she said upon receiving the award.
Hegerberg who beat other 14 nominees to claim the accolade has won three Women Champions League titles with her French side. She scored a tournament-record 15 Women’s Champions League goals last season.
Meanwhile, Hegerberg said she won’t play for Norway at the Women’s World Cup in France next year in June, taking a stand against what she describes as a lack of respect for female players in the country. She hasn’t played for the national team since it crashed out of the group stage of the Women’s European Championship in 2017 without scoring a goal.
“A lot of things need to be done to make the conditions better for women who play football…., It’s all about how we respect women’s football. I don’t think the respect has been there. Sometimes you have to take tough decisions to stay true to yourself. I let them know, quite clearly, what I found wasn’t working.” She said.
The Ballon d’Or, awarded annually by the magazine France Football, was originally created to honor the European player of the year only to become a global prize in 2007. Great players such as Brazilian soccer star Pele who never signed for a European club, never won the award, for instance.