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Trinity Rodman relishes Ballon d’Or experience in Avellano gown

Trinity Rodman was one of 20 nominees for the Ballon d'Or. (Marc Piasecki/WireImage)

Even as she walked the red carpet in Paris, Trinity Rodman found herself in disbelief over her nomination for the prestigious Ballon d’Or.

The 20-year-old finished 18th of the 20 nominees for the award, handed out annually by France Football magazine to the best women’s player from the previous season. Still, as the youngest player among the nominees, she enjoyed a night she’ll never forget.

“Was that real life???” she asked in an Instagram post. “Dreams do come true.”

Fellow members of the U.S. national team, including Sofia Huerta, Megan Rapinoe and Taylor Kornieck, were among those who expressed their approval for Rodman and her red-carpet look in the comments of her post. She wore a backless blue latex Avellano gown for the occasion.

She attended the ceremony at the Theatre du Chatelet with USWNT and Washington Spirit teammates Ashley Sanchez and Aubrey Kingsbury and Spirit owner Michele Kang.

After becoming the youngest player ever selected in the NWSL draft in 2021, she dazzled as a rookie, winning the NWSL championship and the Rookie of the Year award with Washington. She scored six goals and added six assists in her first season, and in the offseason she signed a four-year deal worth an NWSL record $1.1 million.

She made her debut with the USWNT in February, and she stepped up during the squad’s recent trip to England and Spain. Still, her rise to the top of the game can leave her stunned.

“I can’t even believe I was nominated for this,” Rodman said in a red carpet interview before the Ballon d’Or ceremony. “I respect all these players so much, and it’s incredible to be here.”

Spain’s Alexia Putellas took home the award for the second straight year. The 28-year-old had 18 goals and a league-high 15 assists for Barcelona as she led the team to its third-straight Primera División title.

England’s Beth Mead finished second among the 20 nominees for the Ballon d’Or, followed by Australia’s Sam Kerr and Germany’s Lena Oberdorf.

Rodman’s two fellow American nominees, Catarina Macario and Alex Morgan, came in ninth and 13th, respectively.

“A lot has happened so far [in my career] and you can only dream so much, but I think I’m just going to keep pushing forward and do my best and try to connect with other athletes as well,” Rodman said.