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Watch: Rapinoe, Morgan, Bronze and White on Ballon d'Or shortlist

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Watch: Rapinoe, Morgan, Bronze and White on Ballon d'Or shortlist
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Reuters
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World Cup star Megan Rapinoe is in the running for the women's 2019 Ballon d'Or, in what is only the second year there has been a female version of the football prize.

Also on the list are Rapinoe's US team co-captain Alex Morgan, Marta, England's Lucy Bronze and Ellen White and the inaugural winner of the women's award, Norway's Ada Hegerberg.

French team Olympique Lyonnais has six nominees in a shortlist of 20 players, including Bronze and Hegerberg, Dzenifer Marozsan, Sarah Bouhaddi, Wendie Renard and Amandine Henry.

There were no odds offered at the time of writing on the favourite for the women's award, but Rapinoe is likely to be up there, as the resident headline generator at this year's FIFA Women's World Cup in France. She declined President Donald Trump's invitation to the White House upon the US team's tournament victory – or the “f***ing White House” as she famously put it – later adding the caveat that she would only go if she were being inaugurated.

Rapinoe was one of the first US athletes to join NFL player Colin Kaepernick in protesting police brutality by kneeling during the US national anthem. When the Star-Spangled Banner was played during the World Cup this summer, she stood with her arms by her sides rather than holding her hand over her heart, as is customary, and did not sing. She is also one of 28 players currently suing governing body US Soccer for equal pay.

Read more: Who is Megan Rapinoe, the US football star who'll snub Trump's White House invitation?

On the men's list, last year's winner Luka Modric failed to make the cut but Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and UEFA player of the year Virgil van Dijk are among the 30 nominations, as are Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Mo Salah, Eden Hazard and Kylian Mbappé. Van Dijk is the bookmakers' current favourite to win.

The ceremony crowning the winners will be held in Paris on 2 December. Four awards will be handed out on the night, with the best men's and women's player honoured, alongside the Kopa Trophy for under-21s and the Yachine Trophy for goalkeepers.

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