Megan Rapinoe won the women's Ballon d'Or award on Monday after leading the United States to a record-extending fourth World Cup title in France this year.
The 34-year-old midfielder, the standout player at the June-July tournament, succeeded Norway's Ada Hegerberg, who did not take part in 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.
She added: "I want to thank my teammates and the U.S. federation."