Two weeks after being named 2018 The Best FIFA Women’s Player - an all-time record sixth world player of the year award - Orlando Pride forward Marta has been named a finalist for France Football’s inaugural women’s Ballon d’Or.
Marta earns the nomination on the heels of winning The Best on Sept. 24. The Brazilian captain’s win marked her sixth women’s world player of the year honor, the most wins by any female or male player ever.
“I have always wanted to see a woman winning this prestigious award,” Marta said when the award’s creation was announced on Sept. 24. “I think it is a great initiative. The more value we give to women’s soccer the better. We need more initiatives like this one to give value to women’s soccer, keeping us motivated to keep working hard.”
Over two seasons with the Pride, Marta has scored 17 goals and added 10 assists. In addition to leading the team to its first postseason appearance in 2017, Marta was named to the NWSL’s Team of the Month four times, won NWSL Goal of the Week twice and was named to the NWSL Best XI, CONCACAF Best XI and FIFPro World XI at the end of 2017.
Earlier this year, Marta also helped lead Brazil to the 2018 Copa América Femenina title, which qualified the nation for both the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France and 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
According to France Football, the Ballon d’Or will be awarded according to three areas of consideration: (1) Individual and collective performances during the year, (2) player class and (3) the player's career. The 15 finalists were nominated by the editorial department at France Football, while the winner will be chosen by a panel of women’s soccer journalists, with one representative per country.
The Ballon d’Or has been awarded to male players annually since 1956, first introduced by the world-renowned magazine before merging with FIFA’s World Player of the Year from 2010 to 2015. In 2016, France Football took sole ownership of the award again, doling out the honor in an annual awards event.
The winner of the first-ever women’s Ballon d’Or will be announced in an awards ceremony in Paris on Dec. 3.
Marta is one of 15 finalists for the award with the remainder of the list including Lucy Bronze (Olympique Lyonnais/ENG), Pernille Harder (VfL Wolfsburg/DEN), Ada Hegerberg (Olympique Lyonnais/NOR), Amandine Henry (Olympique Lyonnais/FRA), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC/USA), Fran Kirby (Chelsea/ENG), Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars/AUS), Saki Kumagai (Olympique Lyonnais/JPN), Amel Majri (Olympique Lyonnais/FRA), Dzsenifer Maroszan (Olympique Lyonnais/GER), Lieke Martens (FC Barcelona/NED), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC/USA), Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyonnais/FRA) and Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns FC/CAN).