By 90Min
September 24, 2018

France Football have officially launched the Kopa Trophy to recognise best players in the world under the age of 21, as well as the Women's Ballon d'Or award to crown the number one female player on the planet, taking their place alongside the longstanding men's Ballon d'Or.

The Kopa Trophy, which is named for the late Real Madrid and France legend Raymond Kopa and can be likened to the existing similar Golden Boy award established by Tuttosport in 2003, will be voted for by every former living winner of the Ballon d'Or.

FABRICE COFFRINI/GettyImages

The oldest is Barcelona and Inter legend Luis Suarez, but that list also obviously includes Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, as well as Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Marco van Basten, Michel Platini, Franz Beckenbauer and others.

"The birth of the Ballon d'Or is a step closer to the evolution of our sport, which is progressing well," Lyon Feminin and France defender Wendie Renard told France Football.

"It's a step forward, women's football is evolving and inequality is shrinking even though there is still room for improvement."

Veteran Brazilian superstar Marta added, "I've always wanted to see a woman win this prestigious award. It is a step towards more equality to see such a reward, as important in the world of football, to be also awarded to the players."

France Football has chosen to announce the launch its first ever Women's Ballon d'Or on the same day that FIFA is hosting the Best FIFA Football Awards in London.

FIFA has presented a women's award since 2001, rebranding the former FIFA World Player of the Year as Best FIFA Women's Player in 2016 for the creation of the FIFA Best Football Awards, the result of the split between FIFA and France Football over the men's Ballon d'Or.

David Ramos/GettyImages

FIFA has attempted to trump France Football in each of the last two years by bringing forward its annual gala, previously typically held in January, to October and now September so that it takes place before the Ballon d'Or is announced in December.

Ballons d'Or for both men and women and the Kopa Trophy will be presented on December 3rd.

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