Megan Rapinoe honored as best female soccer player of the year

A video of Reign FC's US midfielder Megan Rapinoe is displayed after she won the Ballon d'Or France Football 2019 women's trophy at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris. FRANCK FIFE

World Cup champion soccer star Megan Rapinoe‘s year in the sport continues to get better. Rapinoe has won the women’s Ballon d’Or –– the prize given to soccer’s best player of the year on Monday.

Rapinoe beat out United States Women’s National Team teammate Alex Morgan and England’s Lucy Bronze for the honor. She wasn’t present for the award, but thanked her teammates and the U.S. soccer federation in a recorded message.

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“I’m so sad I can’t make it tonight,” Rapinoe said. “It’s absolutely incredible; congrats to the other nominees. I can’t believe I’m the one winning in this field, it’s been an incredible year.”

Rapinoe led Team USA to their fourth World Cup title in July when they defeated the Netherlands. She scored six goals in the tournament, earning her a Golden Boot and the Golden Ball. Her performance in the World Cup also earned her the top votes for the Ballon d’Or.

The category was introduced for women last year. Norway’s Ada Hegerberg won it in 2018.

Argentinian and Barcelona FC forward Lionel Messi won the award on the men’s side for a record sixth time, beating out Portuguese rival and Juventus striker Cristian Ronaldo.