34-year-old Rapinoe was the driving force behind the US team that claimed a record-extending fourth world title in July
United States midfielder Megan Rapinoe won the women's Ballon d'Or award on Monday after helping her country to retain the World Cup in France this year.
The 34-year-old was the driving force behind the U.S. team that claimed a record-extending fourth world title in July and netted a penalty in the final against the Netherlands.
Rapinoe, who is also the captain of Reign FC in the U.S. National Women's Soccer League, succeeds Norway's Ada Hegerberg, who did not feature at the World Cup.
Rapinoe was not present at the ceremony to collect soccer's most prestigious individual accolade in the Theatre du Chatelet, where the show 'An American In Paris' is on.
"I'm so sad I can't make it tonight. It's absolutely incredible congrats to the other nominees. I can't believe I'm the one winning in this field, it's been an incredible year," Rapinoe said in a recorded message.
"I want to thank my team mates and the U.S. federation."
The award is based on a vote by international journalists.