Marta among 15 contenders for inaugural women’s Ballon d’Or
The World Cup finalist and champion, respectively, are nominees for this year’s award, alongside Brazilian forward Marta. For the first time, France Football magazine is awarding the individual trophy to a woman and a man on Dec. 3 in Paris.
The last player to win the trophy before Ronaldo and Messi took over was Kaka in 2007. This year, Ronaldo and Messi have not been as dominant, leaving the door open for a new winner.
Mbappe won the World Cup for France in Russia, where he became the first teenager to score in a final since Pele in 1958. France beat Modric’s Croatia 4-2 in the final, and the latter was voted player of the tournament.
Last month, the technically gifted Modric won FIFA’s best player award, and is regarded as the front-runner for the Ballon d’Or.
The France Football award merged with FIFA’s player of the year from 2010-15, but they split two years ago.
In addition to guiding Croatia to the World Cup final, Modric also won the Champions league with Real Madrid.
Mbappe also helped Paris Saint-Germain to a domestic treble last season.
Ronaldo and Messi are also among the 30 male nominees. They have shared the past 10 Ballon d’Or trophies, winning five times each.
Antoine Griezmann, Neymar, Gareth Bale, Mohamed Salah, and Sergio Aguero are also listed. Bale scored with a bicycle kick for Madrid in the Champions League final, while Salah enjoyed a breathtaking first season with Liverpool, bagging 32 goals in the English Premier League.