Women's Ballon d'Or launched by France Football
France Football, the magazine responsible for handing out the prestigious Ballon d'Or, have announced the launch of the women's equivalent of the award.
The award was first launched in 1956, when Stanley Matthews was awarded the honour of being named the world's best player, but for 62 years it has been confined to men's football.
From now on, the world's best female footballer will also be handed the award with the first coming at this year's gala in Paris on December 3rd.
The magazine's editor-in-chief, Pascal Ferre, told The Associated Press: "Women's soccer is a booming discipline that deserves the same respect as men's soccer. It's coming to maturity and growing bigger.
"More than 760m TV viewers watched games at the last women's World Cup in 2015. This did not happen by chance."
Fifteen nominees for the women's award will be shortlisted on October 8th, and the winner will be chosen by a panel of journalists specialising in the women's game.
"The jury won't be the same as the jury voting for the men. Only experts can vote," Ferre explained.
"I'm confident we will get a jury of about 40 journalists, from countries where women's soccer is growing."
FIFA used to merge brainpower with France Football to give out the Ballon d'Or, but football's global governing body have recently split away and decided to hold their own award ceremony, 'The Best', at which they hand out an award to the player they deem to have had the best season, as opposed to the best calendar year.
FIFA already have a women's award, which Lieke Martens, the Barcelona and Netherlands midfielder, won in 2017.
France Football are also launching an award to recognise the world's best young player of the year, which will be named after Raymond Kopa - the first French Ballon d'Or winner who passed away last year.
A shortlist of 10 U21 players will be compiled, and a panel of former Ballon d'Or winners will decide the winner.