First women’s Ballon d’Or marred as winner Ada Hegerberg is asked to twerk – The Guardian

First women’s Ballon d’Or marred as winner Ada Hegerberg is asked to twerk – The Guardian

Host DJ Martin Solveig has since apologised for his comment

Luka Modric won men’s award to break Ronaldo-Messi duopoly

Luka Modric ended a decade of dominance by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the Ballon d’Or but the Croatian’s win was overshadowed when the inaugural winner of the women’s award, Ada Hegerberg, was asked to twerk live on stage by the host DJ, Martin Solveig.

Hegerberg, who helped Lyon to the French title and Champions League, scoring in the final, pipped Denmark’s Pernille Harder to the prize but appeared embarrassed when asked by Solveig if she wanted to dance in celebration and “knew how to twerk”.

The 23-year-old said “no” and seemed to attempt to leave the stage, before reluctantly agreeing to dance to another song with Ginola. Solveig tweeted shortly after the ceremony, saying he had apologised to Hegerberg for the remark.

“I explained to [Ada] and she told me she understood it was a joke,” Solveig wrote. “Nevertheless, my apologies to anyone who may have been offended. Most importantly, congratulations to Ada.”

“He came to me afterwards and was really sad that it went that way,” The Norwegian forward said. “I didn’t really consider it sexual harassment or anything in the moment. I was just happy to do the dance and win the Ballon d’Or.”

Hegerberg added she was extremely proud to be named the first female winner. “It’s incredible,” she said. “This is a great motivation to continue working hard and we will continue to work together to win more titles. I wanted to end with some words for young girls around the world: believe in yourselves.”

Luka Modric ‘honoured’ after winning men’s 2018 Ballon d’Or – video

Andy Murray was among those on social media who criticised Solveig’s comment, calling it “another example of the ridiculous sexism in sport.”

“What questions did they ask Mbappé and Modric?” the British tennis player added on Instagram. “I’d imagine something to do with football. And to everyone who thinks I’m overreacting and it was just a joke … it wasn’t. I’ve been involved in sport my whole life and the level of sexism is unreal.”

Modric won a third straight Champions League title and inspired his country to reach the World Cup final, and there are few who will begrudge his victory, with Ronaldo in second. Lionel Messi only came fifth, finishing behind France duo Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappé – the first time since 2006 that the Argentina forward has not finished in the top three.

Men’s award – top five

1) Luka Modric (Croatia and Real Madrid)

2) Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal and Juventus)

3) Antoine Griezmann (France and Atlético Madrid)

4) Kylian Mbappé (France and PSG)

5) Lionel Messi (Argentina and Barcelona)

England’s Harry Kane was 10th, Wales’s Gareth Bale joint 17th

Women’s award – top five

1) Ada Hegerberg (Norway and Lyon)

2) Pernille Harder (Denmark and Wolfsburg)

3) Dzsenifer Maroszan (Germany and Lyon)

4) Marta (Brazil and Orlando Pride)

5) Sam Kerr (Australia and Chicago Red Stars)

England’s Lucy Bronze and Fran Kirby finished 6th and 14th

Kopa award for best young player

The inaugural award for the best under-21 player in the world was won by France and PSG forward Kylian Mbappé.

The men’s award: how the rest finished

4 Kylian Mbappé 5 Lionel Messi 6 Mohamed Salah 7 Raphaël Varane 8 Eden Hazard 9 Kevin de Bruyne 10 Harry Kane 11 N’Golo Kanté 12 Neymar 13 Luis Suárez 14 Thibaut Courtois 15 Paul Pogba 16 Sergio Agüero =17 Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale =19 Roberto Firmino, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Ramos =22 Marcelo, Edinson Cavani, Sadio Mané =25 Alisson, Jan Oblak, Mario Mandzukic 28 Diego Godín =29 Isco, Hugo Lloris.

Photograph: Aurélien Meunier/Getty Images Europe

There had been a clue that there would be a new winner in the 63rd edition of this award – Blackpool’s Stanley Matthews was the first in 1956 – when neither Ronaldo nor Messi were present at the Grand Palais in Paris, although in typically humble fashion Modric admitted he had been pleasantly surprised to be recognised after being congratulated on his victory by Croatia president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.

Having become the first teenager to score in the World Cup final since Pele in 1958 as France won their second title in Russia, Paris Saint-Germain’s forward Mbappé was the runaway winner of the inaugural Kopa Trophy for the best player under the age of 21 ahead of Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold. Mohamed Salah finished in sixth place in the men’s award in recognition of his fantastic debut season at Anfield.

that saw him score 32 Premier League goals. He was the highest-ranked player from the Premier League, with Chelsea’s Eden Hazard eighth, Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City ninth and Tottenham’s Harry Kane – who won the Golden Boot in Russia – 10th.

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