PARIS (AP) — Sixty-two years after Stanley Matthews won the first Ballon d'Or, the women's game received its inaugural winner: Trailblazing Norwegian forward Ada Hegerberg.
The three-time Women's Champions League winner with French side Lyon was named the world's best female player of 2018 at a gala in Paris on Monday. A jury of 45 journalists picked the 23-year-old Hegerberg from among 15 nominees.
She called the award "a huge step for women's football."
Hegerberg, who scored a tournament-record 15 goals for Lyon in the Women's Champions League last season, also told The Associated Press she feels "very proud" to be the first Ballon d'Or-winning woman.
But she also expressed frustration about living "in such a man's world" and said the award will not make her reconsider her refusal to play for Norway because of her unhappiness over perceived inequality.