Women's Ballon d'Or: Lucy Bronze & Fran Kirby nominated for inaugural award

Lucy Bronze and Fran Kirby
Lucy Bronze and Fran Kirby both started England's 1-0 win over Brazil on Saturday

England's Lucy Bronze and Fran Kirby are among the nominees for the inaugural Women's Ballon d'Or award.

Defender Bronze was part of the Lyon side that won last season's Champions League, while forward Kirby won a Super League and FA Cup double with Chelsea.

Brazil and Orlando Pride forward Marta, who won the best female player award at the Best Fifa Football Awards in London last month, also makes the list.

The ceremony to announce the winner will take place in Paris on 3 December.

Kirby, 25, was crowned PFA Players' Player of the Year and Football Writers' Women's Footballer of the year last term and scored the only goal for England in a 1-0 win over Brazil on Saturday.

Bronze, 26, also won the French league with Lyon after arriving from Manchester City, having also had spells at Sunderland, Everton and Liverpool.

The Ballon d'Or has been awarded by France Football to male players every year since 1956, with former England international Sir Stanley Matthews the first winner.

The list is compiled by the editorial staff of the French publication and the winner voted for by journalists from around the world, with one representative per nation.

This year will be the first time a female footballer has been recognised.

Analysis

Jo Currie, BBC Sport's women's football reporter

Shortlists for international women's football awards are often criticised for not being based on current form - however, few can find fault with this line-up.

So how will the England duo fair?

For Bronze, being in contention for global accolades is becoming a formality. The Lyon defender has already been a nominated for Uefa's goal of the season and Fifa's Best Player in 2018.

In April, the 26-year-old became the first female British player in 11 years to win the Champions League and is now widely regarded at the best right-back in the world.

Kirby was pivotal to Chelsea's domestic double last year as they claimed the Women's Super League and FA Cup, and she was rightly namely PFA Player of the Year as a result. This nomination is proof the striker is now making her mark internationally as well.

In total, 11 nationalities are represented across the 15 players with no clear-cut winner.

Denmark's Pernille Harder and Brazilian Marta have already claimed the Uefa and Fifa equivalent awards this year.

For many, though, it is Australian Sam Kerr who will lead the charge. The striker is the all-time leading scorer in the American League NWSL, but is often overlooked for global honours.

Who's on the shortlist?

2018 Women's Ballon d'Or nominees
PositionCountryClub
Lucy BronzeDefenderEnglandLyon
Pernille HarderForwardDenmarkWolfsburg
Ada Hegerberg ForwardNorwayLyon
Amandine HenryMidfielderFranceLyon
Lindsey HoranForwardUSAPortland
Sam KerrForwardAustralia Chicago
Fran KirbyForwardEnglandChelsea
Saki KumagaiDefenderJapanLyon
Dzsenifer MarozsanMidfielderGermanyLyon
Amel MajriMidfielderFranceLyon
MartaForwardBrazilOrlando
Lieke MartensForwardNetherlandsBarcelona
Megan RapinoeMidfielderUSASeattle
Wendie RenardDefenderLyonFrance
Christine Sinclair ForwardCanadaPortland

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