Lucy Bronze and Ellen White earn Women's Ballon d'Or Nominations
(Photo by Trond Tandberg/Getty Images)

France Football have announced their nominations for this year's Ballon d'Or, and two Lionesses have made the cut for the women's prize.

This is only the second year female footballers have been included, with Ada Hegerberg claiming the inaugural honour last year.

Among the 20 nominations are Manchester City forward Ellen White and Olympique Lyonnais defender Lucy Bronze.

Though she has not featured for her new club so far this season, White earns a nomination after enjoying a fantastic FIFA Women's World Cup campaign which ended with her as joint top-goalscorer alongside fellow nominees Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe.

Bronze, who has been a mainstay in Phil Neville's Lionesses squad, was named the second-best player at the World Cup and not only did she win the Division 1 Féminine with Lyon, but they also won the UEFA Women's Champions League for the fourth consecutive year.

A historic year

A fantastic year for women's football can be seen in the achievements of all the players up for the award, both on and off the pitch.

The US Women's National Team won the World Cup for the second time in a row, so it is no surprise that a handful of their players made the cut.

Morgan, Rapinoe, Rose Lavelle and Tobin Heath all feature with Rapinoe a strong favourite to claim the prize.

These players have proven themselves as the world's best on the biggest stage, but they also continue to fight with their "Equal Play, Equal Pay" campaign and Rapinoe stands at the heart of it.

Outstanding Lyon

Lyon's domestic and European triumphs have earned recognition for players across the squad, not least England's Lucy Bronze.

Amandine Henry, Dzenifer Marozsan, Sarah Bouhaddi, Wendie Renard and Ada Hegerberg are all included.

It is difficult to think of a team that dominates a sport much as the French side dominates the women's game in Europe.

A side that rarely loses, scores for fun and has achieved what men's teams struggle to - consistent success both in their respective leagues and in the Champions League.

Renard and Henry especially were stand-out players throughout the summer.

Dutch brilliance

Vivianne Miedema, Lieke Martens and Sari van Veenendaal all received nominations for outstanding seasons for both club and country.

Miedema ended her season as a World Cup Finalist, WSL Winner, PFA Players' Player of the Year and the league's top goalscorer.

Martens also helped her side, Barcelona, reach the Champions League Final in Budapest back in May, although they fell to defeat at the hands of Lyon.

Sweden a team to watch

Sweden's World Cup campaign was an exciting one, despite their semi-final defeat to the Netherlands.

Nilla Fischer, Kosovare Asllani and Sofia Jakobsson were the stand-outs that earned nominations.

Asllani netted three of their 12 goals across the competition, with Jakobsson scoring twice.

Fischer is a commanding centre-half with over 100 caps for her country and she featured in six of their seven matches in the summer.

Inspiring the future of women's football

Marta became one of the faces of the World Cup following her inspiring speech after Brazil's 2-1 defeat to France in the Round of 16.

"It’s wanting more,” the 33-year-old said in a post-match interview. “It’s training more. It’s taking care of yourself more. It’s being ready to play ninety plus thirty minutes. This is what I ask of the girls.

"There’s not going to be a Formiga forever. There’s not going to be a Marta forever. There’s not going to be a Cristiane.

"The women’s game depends on you to survive.”

Reaching the knockout stages can be seen as a success for a struggling Brazil side and Marta showed her quality on the pitch as one of their most important players and she remains a legend of the game.

Sam Kerr is a name recognised among WoSo fans and is one of the NWSL's biggest stars.

The Australian fell short of being awarded the first women's Ballon d'Or last year, but her performances have earned her a nomination for the second year running.

Pernille Harder is one of the most prolific goal scorers in the game and has earned a host of awards over the last couple of years.

She was part of the VfL Wolfsburg team that secured their fifth Frauen-Bundesliga title last season.

All nominees

Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars) AUS, Ellen White (Man City) ENG, Nilla Fischer (FC Linkoping City) SWE, Amandine Henry (Lyon) FRA, Lucy Bronze (Lyon) ENG, Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride) USA, Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal) NED, Dzenifer Marozsan (Lyon) GER, Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg) DEN, Sarah Bouhaddi (Lyon) FRA, Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC) USA, Lieke Martens (Barcelona) NED, Sari van Veenendaal (Atletico Madrid) NED, Wendie Renard (Lyon) FRA, Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit) USA, Marta (Orlando Pride) BRA, Ada Hegerberg (Lyon) NOR, Kosovare Asllani (Club Deportivo Tacón) SWE, Sofia Jakobsson (Club Deportivo Tacón) SWE, Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns) USA.

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