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Ballon d’Or announces women’s and under-21 awards

Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe is among the favourites to win the 2018 Ballon d’Or. © AFP/File / FRANCK FIFE

PARIS, France, Sep 24 – Ballon d’Or organisers France Football have announced the creation of awards for the top female footballer and the best under-21 player in the world.

The awards ceremony for the 63rd edition, created and decided by the French football magazine, will be held on December 3 in Paris.

While 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain is among the favourites to succeed Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo, a short-list of female footballers will be in line for the women’s equivalent and the world’s best under-21 players will vie for the ‘Kopa Trophy’.

As with the Ballon d’Or, the women’s award will be decided by votes from journalists around the world.

The Kopa Trophy, for the best under-21 player will, however, be decided by votes from the 33 previous winners of the Ballon d’Or including, among others, Denis Law, Franz Beckenbauer, Michel Platini, Jean-Pierre Papin, Marco Van Basten, Zinedine Zidane, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, France Football said in a statement.

The finalists for all three awards will be unveiled on October 8.

The Ballon d’Or is considered the oldest and most prestigious football award.

FIFA’s own ‘Best’ award will be presented later on Monday in London, where Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah and Modric are the contenders.

A World Cup finalist with Croatia and a Champions League winner with Real Madrid, Modric has already been voted last season’s best player by UEFA.

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Since 2008, Ronaldo and Barcelona star Lionel Messi have shared the last 10 Ballons d’Or, winning five apiece.

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