Historic first women's Ballon d'Or victor asked to twerk in shocking moment

Virginia Santiago
December 5, 2018

For years, the magazine France Football has been doling out its Ballon d'Or award to the best men's soccer player in the world.

But any pretense of social progress upon the advent of a women's award went out the window at Monday's ceremony when French DJ Martin Solveig asked Hegerberg to twerk while presenting her with her Ballon d'Or.

Hegerberg also denied it was sexist of Solveig to ask her to dance, saying there were bigger issues to discuss.

Solveig was widely criticised on social media, including by two-time Wimbledon tennis champion Andy Murray, who said on Instagram: "Another example of the ridiculous sexism that still exists in sport".

Despite being recognized as the best female footballer in the world, the outspoken 23-year-old said she won't play for Norway at the Women's World Cup in France next June.

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"Nevertheless my apologies to anyone who may have been offended".

Ada Hegerberg is one of the most successful woman footballers in the world right now, and she's also rumoured to be one of the highest paid.

Her words echoed Solveig's own message after the internet brouhaha that erupted shortly after Hegerberg's appearance onstage.

'Watch the full sequence people who have followed me for 20 years know how respectful I am especially with women'.

Monday's inaugural presentation of the women's Ballon d'Or award for top female player in the world was supposed to be a step forward.

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But three-time grand slam champion Murray was less than impressed.

Juventus forward and 2017 victor Ronaldo came second, while Atletico Madrid and France striker Antoine Griezmann came third. "I don't think the respect has been there", she told the AP.

Responding to the criticism, Solveig tweeted: "Sincere apologies to the one I may have offended".

The prolific striker has abstained from playing for Norway's national team since 2017 because of the country's treatment of its women's national team.

For the first time ever, France Football awarded the honour to a female player. "I got to dance a bit and I got the Ballon d'Or". The reaction to Solveig, who was featured throughout the Ballon d'Or gala, drew gasps from the crowd and a look of bewilderment from Kylian Mbappe, who earlier had won the first Kopa Trophy going to the world's best player under 21. "It's all about how we respect women's football".

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Reacting to being named Footballer of the Year, Modric said: "It is hard to express my emotion and how I feel in words".

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