Opinion: Why Megan Rapinoe should not have won the Ballon D'or
 (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Megan Rapinoe, World Cup winner with the United States Women's National Team, took home the Ballon D'or on Monday night. She shouldn't have. 

When you think about what the Ballon D'or is and what the award stands for, then it really should not be a surprise that there is a mass disdain towards the fact that Rapinoe has walked away with the trophy.

US forward Rapinoe also took home the FIFA "The Best" award earlier in the year. The reaction to which was more mixed than the one following the Ballon D'or. 

Rapinoe did score six goals at this summer's FIFA Women's World Cup, which is an impressive feat until you remember that half of those goals were penalties. 

And even then, those six goals are all of the goals she has scored in all competitions this season. She only made five league appearances for Reign FC in the NWSL, scoring exactly zero goals. 

Her compatriot Alex Morgan finished third in the voting. She too, scored six goals at the World Cup. However, the fact that five of those six came against Thailand in a 13-0 win really undermines the achievement. 

Morgan also didn't get a league goal this year, and her Orlando Pride side finished rock bottom of the NWSL, proving that it does not matter how you perform domestically in a World Cup year. 

It does not help that the World Cup was the thing that brought Women's Football into the mainstream, into the homes of millions across the planet. This has installed an unconscious bias in most of the people voting. Especially the people who don't pay proper attention to domestic football. 

The thing that sticks with them is Rapinoe scoring in the final and making waves off the pitch. When in reality the award should be based on the entire year of performances and not a penalty and off-the-field politics. 

Who should have won?

There are four real contenders that could have taken home the crown. 

English defender Lucy Bronze, Arsenal and Holland striker Vivianne Miedema, Australian Sam Kerr and last year's Ballon D'or winner Ada Hegerberg. 

These are the four players that should have made up the top four. Rapinoe and Morgan should not be anywhere near the list. 

Lucy Bronze is the best defender in the world, she finished second in the voting and nobody would have questioned the decision if the Lyon defender won the award. She won the Champions League with Lyon and reached the World Cup semi-finals with Phil Neville's Lionesses.

This World Cup success is enough to see her over Ada Hegerberg, with the two sharing a team. The Norweigan did score a hat-trick in the Champions League final, though. 

Hegerberg boycotted this summer's World Cup, protesting against the treatment of Norway's female footballers. Martin Odegaard took to Instagram to criticise the Lyon forward but her boycott remains in place. 

The real top two

Vivianne Miedema and Sam Kerr are not just world-class female footballers, they phenomenal footballers. 

The two have a combined 81 goal contributions this calendar year. Miedema has 58 (44 goals, 14 assists) and Kerr has 39 (32 goals, 7 assists)

Both have had incredible 2019's. They have done everything that there is to do in football. Miedema lead her Dutch side to the World Cup final, scoring three goals at the tournament in the process. 

Miedema won the Women's Super League, winning the golden boot in England, getting Arsenal back into the Champions League by doing so. 

Arsenal also reached the Continental Cup final in February, losing on penalties to Manchester City. 

Kerr's Chicago Red Stars lost out to the North Carolina Courage in the final of the NWSL. Kerr scored five goals at the World Cup for Australia after spending the start of the year at Perth, scoring nine goals in six games, propelling them to the W-League title.

It is hard to pick between them but you would have to pick Miedema based on her World Cup success. 

This circles round to the point on Rapinoe and Morgan. Success in a World Cup year should be underpinned by a good campaign at a World Cup, and not solely governed on it. 

Morgan and Rapinoe have combined ZERO goal contributions in domestic leagues this year and together they only played 11 of a possible 48 games. 

 

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