Megan Rapinoe, Marta Headline 2018 Women's Ballon d'Or Shortlist

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24:  Marta of Orlando Pride receives the trophy for The Best FIFA Women's Player 2018 during the The Best FIFA Football Awards Show at Royal Festival Hall on September 24, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Brazilian Marta will be looking to secure a remarkable individual double after being included among the 15 nominees for the inaugural women's Ballon d'Or.

The 32-year-old forward claimed the Best FIFA Women's Player award last month and was named on Monday among the candidates for the 2018 Ballon d'Or, per France Football.

United States and Seattle Reign midfielder Megan Rapinoe is also on the shortlist, along with compatriot Lindsey Horan, who was named Most Valuable Player in the 2018 National Women's Soccer League after an impressive campaign with the Portland Thorns.

Unsurprisingly, Lyon players dominate the shortlist after they claimed a third consecutive UEFA Women's Champions League triumph back in May.

Lucy Bronze, Ada Hegerberg, Amandine Henry, Saki Kumagai, Amel Majri, Dzsenifer Marozsan and Wendie Renard were all part of the starting XI for Lyon's 4-1 defeat of Wolfsburg in the final in Kiev, Ukraine, and they have all been nominated for the 2018 Women's Ballon d'Or.

Danish striker Pernille Harder was Wolfsburg's sole goalscorer against Lyon, and she also makes the 15-strong shortlist after an impressive 2017-18 in which she helped the German club to a league and cup double.

Australia's Sam Kerr is a deserved nominee after top-scoring with 16 goals in the NWSL, helping the Chicago Red Stars to make the play-offs.

Veteran Canadian Christine Sinclair, Chelsea forward Fran Kirby and Netherlands star Lieke Martens complete the shortlist, with the award set to be announced in Paris on December 3.

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