Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Olympique Lyonnais striker Ada Hegerberg is the winner of the first-ever Women's Ballon d'Or award, given to the sport's top player of 2018.
Hegerberg, 23, was presented with the honor on Monday in Paris. She edged Pernille Harder, Dzsenifer Maroszan, Marta and Sam Kerr to lead the top five.
Croatian Luka Modric won the men's award, beating out Cristian Ronaldo, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi in the top five. Messi and Ronaldo have alternated winning the honor since 2008, with each player winning five times.
Modric is the first Croatian player to win the award.
"I want to say thanks to France Football," Hegerberg said in her speech. "It's a huge step for women's football. I want to end this speech with a message to all young girls in the world: Believe in yourselves."
Hegerberg scored 15 goals to lead Lyon to its third consecutive UEFA Champions League title this season. She scored 53 goals last season and has 23 scores in 18 games this season in France's top flight.
The Ballon d'Or is awarded annually by France Football magazine.