'It's a huge step for women's football' - Ada Hegerberg makes history as first female winner of the Ballon d'Or

Mon, Dec 03 2018

Hegerberg was Lyon's top scorer as they won the Champions League for the third year running. Credit: Olympique Lyonnais

Olympique Lyonnais forward Ada Hegerberg has been named the first-ever female winner of the Ballon d’Or at the awards ceremony in Paris tonight.

The former Norway international was one of seven players from the UEFA Champions League-winning Lyon side among the 15 nominees for the award.

23-year-old Hegerberg was Lyon’s top scorer as the French side won Europe’s top competition for the third year in a row, scoring once in the 4-1 final win over Vfl Wolfsburg in Kiev.

Wolfsburg’s Danish striker Pernille Harder was second, while Lyon and Germany midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan was third in the running.

Hegerberg wasn’t involved in Norway’s back-to-back victories over Ireland in World Cup qualifying this summer after opting to take a step back from international football.

“I would like to say a big huge thank you to France Football for letting us have this opportunity to have this award,” Hegerberg said on receipt of the award.

“It’s a huge step for women’s football and the work you’ve put down is such an important thing for women’s football and together we will make a difference.

“I would like to end this speech with some words for girls all over the world – please believe in yourself.”

Hegerberg finished third, one place behind Marozsan, in the running for the FIFA Best Women’s Player award earlier this year.

Luka Modric was handed the men’s award to add to his FIFA Best Men’s Player gong picked up in September.