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USWNT players included for first time as Ballon d'Or nominees

By Alex Butler
USA's Megan Rapinoe is among the 15 nominees for the first ever women's Ballon d'Or Award. File photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/461969670278fc8d30b9ebf838e04407/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
USA's Megan Rapinoe is among the 15 nominees for the first ever women's Ballon d'Or Award. File photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Members of the United States Women's National Team made the shortlist of nominees for the first-ever women's Ballon d'Or Award.

Lindsey Horan and Megan Rapinoe are among the nominees for the United States. England's Lucy Bronze and Fran Kirby also made the cut.

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Brazil's Marta, Holland's Lieke Martens, Germany's Dzsenifer Marozsan, Norway's Ada Hegerberg and Pernille Harder, France's Amandine Henry, Amel Majri and Wendie Renard, Australia's Sam Kerr, Canada's Christine Sinclair and Japan's Saki Kumagai also made the list of 15 women's nominees.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, England's Harry Kane, Wales' Gareth Bale, Argentina's Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero, Belgians Kevin De Bruyne, Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard, France's Paul Pogba, Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann, Hugo Lloris, Kylian Mbappe, Raphael Varane and N'Golo Kante, Spain's Sergio Ramos and Isco, Brazil's Marcelo, Neymar, Alisson and Roberto Firmino, Uruguay's Luis Suarez, Diego Godin and Edinson Cavani, Croatia's Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic, Egypt's Mohamed Salah, Senegal's Sadio Mane and Slovenia's Jan Oblak round out the 30 nominees on the men's side.

Ronaldo won the award for the fifth time last year, ending a run of four consecutive wins for Messi. Either Ronaldo or Messi has won the award every year since 2008.

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Croatia's Modric and Brazil's Marta won FIFA's Player of the Year awards in September.

The 2018 Ballon d'Or awards will be presented on December 3 in Paris.

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