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Hegerberg says 'twerk' request doesn't overshadow historic Ballon d'Or

AFP  |  Paris 

Norwegian striker said the introduction of a women's Ballon d'Or was a "big step forward" for the game, playing down suggestions her historic victory was overshadowed after being asked to perform a "twerk" live on stage.

The star -- whose prolific form in front of goal helped the French club secure a third successive victory -- edged out Danish forward to claim the inaugural prize at a ceremony in on Monday.

But the 23-year-old was asked if she would perform a sexually provocative dance by French host DJ, Martin Solveig, and appeared embarrassed as she rejected the request.

later said: "He came to see me after and apologised. The Ballon d'Or is the most important thing."

"I am touched and very proud, for women's football, for myself, for the club. I share this with Olympique Lyonnais, my teammates, the staff," she beamed after joining men's winner and men's best on the stage with her trophy.

"It's historic, it's incredible, a great day for women's and a big step forward."

Hegerberg, one of seven players from the all-conquering side to feature among the 15 nominees, dismissed suggestions that the night was marred by the "twerk" request.

"I didn't feel it was like that at all to be honest and I am sad if people thought about the situation like that."

Solveig later tweeted an apology, saying "told me she understood it was a joke".

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

"People who have followed me for 20 years know how respectful I am especially with women," he added.

Hegerberg was Lyon's top scorer with 15 goals in the -- including one in the final in in May, as came from behind to beat VfL Wolfsburg 4-1 after extra time and retain the trophy. Harder had put the Germans in front in that game.

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Lyon also won the French title for the 12th season in succession, with Hegerberg top-scoring with 31 goals, and she continues to bang in the goals for her team who are top of the table again this season.

Her goal-scoring exploits have led to comparisons with five-time Ballon d'Or winners and Cristiano Ronaldo, and she felt that had made the difference for her compared to her Lyon colleagues.

"I think the fact I scored 54 goals last season and 53 goals this year -- it's a lot of goals in one year," she said.

"I know it's difficult to score 50 goals every season. It is a challenge. That is where I set the bar."

Hegerberg, whose elder sister plays for Lyon's biggest rivals in France, Saint-Germain, is a Norwegian international but has not played for her country since their disappointing showing at Euro 2017 in the

It remains to be seen if she will return to the national set-up in time for next year's World Cup, which will be played in with the final in Lyon.

Of the other Lyon contenders, German came closest to Hegerberg, finishing third in the voting.

Brazil's Marta -- recent winner of FIFA's best prize -- placed fourth. The award is organised by magazine following a vote by journalists from around the world.

Lyon defender Wendie Renard, a star for the French national team, said Hegerberg's competitive spirit also made her stand out.

"is a competitor, she doesn't like losing. We're very similar in that sense," said Renard.

"Even the smallest detail in training makes a difference.

"She's a great goal-scorer. The slightest bit of space, and any ball that's around, we know it's in the back of the net.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, December 04 2018. 16:10 IST