Megan Rapinoe, Lucy Bronze and Alex Morgan lead the nominees for the 2019 Ballon d'Or Femenin in the award's second year.

Publication France Football revealed their 20-woman shortlist on Monday, acknowledging the successes of Lyon and United States in particular.

Women's Champions League winners Lyon have six players in the running, including Bronze and 2018 winner Ada Hegerberg, though the latter is not thought to be among the favourites given her World Cup absence.

United States lifted the trophy in France and four of their squad have been nominated, with Tobin Heath, Rose Lavelle, Morgan and Rapinoe flying the USA flag.

Rapinoe is regarded by many as the favourite, however, with the Reign FC star inspirational in the World Cup campaign, finishing joint top-scorer on six with Ellen White and Morgan, while she also added three assists.

She won the Golden Boot and Golden Ball in France, before also taking home The Best FIFA Women's Player award, edging out Morgan. Bronze came third.

Full list of nominees:

Lucy Bronze (Lyon), Ellen White (Manchester City), Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars), Nilla Fischer (Wolfsburg), Amandine Henry (Lyon), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal), Dzenifer Marozsan (Lyon), Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg), Sarah Bouhaddi (Lyon), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC), Lieke Martens (Barcelona), Sari van Veenendal (Atletico Madrid), Wendie Renard (Lyon), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit), Marta (Orlando Pride), Ada Hegerberg (Lyon), Kosovare Asllani, Sofia Jakobsson (both CD Tacon/Real Madrid), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns).

United States stars Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan will battle England international Lucy Bronze for The Best FIFA Women's Player award after nine names were trimmed from the original shortlist.

Lyon right-back Bronze was named UEFA Women's Player of the Year last week but faces stiff competition from Rapinoe and Morgan to claim the global accolade.

Rapinoe, 34, looks to be the frontrunner after spearheading her country to Women's World Cup glory earlier this year.

The winger scooped the Golden Boot with six goals from five games and completed a triumphant individual double by claiming the Golden Ball.

Team-mate Morgan netted the same number of goals in France, including the winner in the 2-1 semi-final defeat of England, and only missed out on the goalscoring crown by virtue of playing more minutes than Rapinoe.

Bronze's hopes could hinge on a strong club campaign as she helped Lyon to the treble, although two of the previous three winners - Carli Lloyd and Marta - have been based in the NWSL in America.

Similar battle lines have been drawn for the title of The Best FIFA Women's Coach, with England manager Phil Neville in contention against Jill Ellis, who has won back-to-back World Cups with USA.

Netherlands boss Sarina Wiegman is the other contender after leading her country to the World Cup final.

Christiane Endler, Hedvig Lindahl and Sari van Veenendaal are the finalists for the goalkeeper's gong.

All award winners will be announced at a ceremony in Milan on September 23.

Lyon trio Ada Hegerberg, Lucy Bronze and Amandine Henry have been nominated for the UEFA Women's Player of the Year award.

Hegerberg won the inaugural Ballon d'Or Feminin last year and will look to add the UEFA prize to her collection, having finished as runner-up in 2017-18 to Denmark and Wolfsburg striker Pernille Harder.

The 24-year-old dazzled as Lyon won their 13th consecutive French title last season, scoring 20 goals in as many top-flight appearances along with seven in nine Champions League outings – crowning a magnificent campaign with a hat-trick in the 4-1 final victory over Barcelona in Budapest.

However, Hegerberg did not participate in the World Cup, having not represented Norway since the 2017 European Championship due to frustrations over the standing of the women's game in her homeland.

Lyon colleague Bronze did feature in France, playing a starring role in England's second consecutive run to the semi-finals.

The former Manchester City right-back is the first English nominee for the award.

Midfielder Henry completes the nominees having finished third behind Harder and Hegerberg last time around.

Henry was runner-up in 2014-15 and 2015-16 – to Hegerberg on the latter occasion – making her four nominations a new record in the award's seventh year.

United States star Megan Rapinoe and three of her international team-mates are among 12 nominees for the Best FIFA Women's Player Award for 2019.

A first-time recipient will be named in Milan on September 23 after former winners Marta, Lieke Martens and Carli Lloyd all failed to make the shortlist.

Reign FC forward Rapinoe shapes as a strong contender after inspiring USA to glory at the Women's World Cup in France.

The 34-year-old scored six goals in five games, including one in the 2-0 victory over Netherlands in the final, to claim a Golden Ball-Golden Boot double.

Rapinoe's compatriots Alex Morgan, Rose Lavelle and Julie Ertz are also in contention, as are England pair Ellen White and Lucy Bronze, who claimed the Silver Ball.

Right-back Bronze and striker Ada Hegerberg, last year's inaugural Women's Ballon d'Or winner, feature among four players from the Lyon side that won the Women's Champions League.

The list of contenders has been expanded to 12 from the usual 10 due to a tie in the number of votes received by some nominees.

 

The Best FIFA Women's Player nominees:

Lucy Bronze (Lyon & England)
Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars & United States)
Caroline Graham Hansen (Barcelona & Norway)
Ada Hegerberg (Lyon)
Amandine Henry (Lyon & France)
Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars & Australia)
Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit & United States)
Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal & Netherlands)
Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride & United States)
Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC & United States)
Wendie Renard (Lyon & France)
Ellen White (Manchester City & England)

England will get over their semi-final stumbles and win a major tournament soon, according to defender Lucy Bronze.

The Lionesses were knocked out at the last-four stage for the third successive international competition on Tuesday in Lyon as the United States claimed a 2-1 win to reach the Women's World Cup final.

While Jill Ellis' team are preparing for a third-straight World Cup final, England are reflecting on a trio of near misses, having also lost semi-finals at Euro 2017 and on the global stage four years ago.

"Of course it's a disappointment - we wanted to win this World Cup, we came here to win this World Cup," Bronze said.

"We've fallen short, we wanted to make it to the final because we haven't quite made it there, but the fact that we are consistently reaching semi-finals shows how immense this team is and the strengths of this team.

"Now we've got a tournament [2020 Olympics] as Team GB next year and then we've got a home Euros.

"There's so much ahead of us and we can really push on, and I know for a fact that this team is going to win a trophy at some point."

Despite falling behind to Christen Press' early goal, and then trailing at the break when Alex Morgan made it 2-1, England came close to a second equaliser against USA.

Ellen White, who had scored the Lionesses' first, had a second strike ruled out for offside by VAR and Steph Houghton had a late chance from the penalty spot after another VAR intervention.

England skipper Houghton's penalty was saved by Alyssa Naeher, the third time in the tournament that Phil Neville's team had failed to convert from 12 yards after Nikita Parris had efforts stopped against Argentina and Norway.

"I think we're too harsh on the penalty takers sometimes," Bronze argued.

"It's a lot of pressure on a goalkeeper to pull out a save in the semi-final of a World Cup. To keep their team on top... that's unbelievable. The Argentina keeper - unbelievable save. The same for Norway, the keeper's made a fantastic save.

"It's a ridiculous comment to say the penalties aren't good enough. We've scored penalties this tournament and we've scored them in the past. I don't think that's an issue at all."

Lucy Bronze was just four when brother Jorge picked up a pair of scissors and hacked away at her hair, clump after clump.

A salvage job at the local hairdresser later, and a satisfied Bronze, whose mother's refusal to chop her locks made her turn to six-year-old Jorge, was left with a boyish cut.

It was just the job for sidling in unnoticed alongside the young lads booting a football around near the family home on the Northumberland island of Lindisfarne.

Yet little Lucia Roberta Tough Bronze was soon running rings around those boys, taking the first steps towards starring for England on the World Cup stage.

Today the 27-year-old is "the best player in the world" according to Lionesses manager Phil Neville, and amid England's dazzling run in France she became one of the faces of the British sporting summer.

Jorge wrote a heartfelt letter to his sister as she departed for France, complete with a teasing "Don't be s***" sign-off, and was roaring her on from the stands against the United States in Lyon.

For the Bronze family, it was another night to be proud. There have been many of those with more to come.

The World Cup dream is over for England after the heartbreaking semi-final defeat to the United States, but trophy success on home soil at Euro 2021 is a realistic goal. Bronze, devastated by Tuesday's loss, could land gold next summer too with Great Britain at the Tokyo Olympics.

Parents Diane and Joaquim, unlike so many living within striking distance of Newcastle, had no interest in football until little Lucy began to demonstrate prodigious talent.

The family moved to the mainland and Bronze shone for Alnwick Town's mixed junior team. Sunderland's youth ranks beckoned, then the first team, then Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City, Lyon and the Lionesses.

Like many an ambitious youngster, Bronze had been wary about sharing her life's dreams with her careers adviser. Not least because mum Diane held that role at the Duchess' Community High School in Alnwick, as well as being a maths teacher - and she saw football as little more than a hobby.

But being up front about her desire had positive consequences. Bronze, aged 17, secured a scholarship to the University of North Carolina that became a key stepping stone in her life.

"I'm very independent and was quite mature for my age," she said of her move to Chapel Hill. "My parents were a bit scared.

"Moving out and living on my own was a big thing but to be in a different country with different coaches and a different mentality changed me as a person, as a player, the way I think about things and the way I see people."

Bronze was still in the womb when she first set tongues wagging.

The Bronzes had moved to Lindisfarne, home to fewer than 200 people, after a death in the family, and the pending arrival of Lucy in the autumn of 1991 put them in a quandary.

The mile-long causeway from the north-east coast to the island is impassable for around 12 hours every day, and local midwives were bursting with enthusiasm about the prospect of taking a helicopter across to help out Mrs Bronze - who was having none of it.

"So I was actually born in Berwick because my mum went there early," Bronze said. "She refused to give birth on this tiny island with no hospital and no doctors, and the potential of there not being a road there depending on tides."

Bronze became no stranger to doctors, needing four knee operations in the early years of her top-flight career.

She lost out on vital appearance money and paid herself through university in Leeds by taking jobs at the Domino's pizza shop in Headingley, and behind the bar at the nearby Goals five-a-side centre. She ate enough margherita to horrify any football club dietician.

Such indulgences are rare nowadays. Bronze has become not merely a goalscoring playmaker at right-back but a remarkable athlete, said to be bringing in a handsome six-figure salary at Lyon.

To watch her doing laps of the pitch at England's St George's Park headquarters, it is no stretch to imagine Bronze running a Sally Gunnell-like leg in a championship 4 x 400 metres relay.

She can afford a sharp haircut too, sparing Jorge any more blunt-scissored efforts. And the days of trying to merely keep up with the boys? Long gone.

Sport historians will record whether this has been a golden era for English women's football, or whether the prosperity will endure. They might well define these years as the second Bronze age.

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