Six weeks after captaining Germany to UEFA Women's EURO 2013 glory, Nadine Angerer has been announced as the winner of the inaugural UEFA Best Women's Player in Europe Award and told UEFA.com her selection was a surprise.
The latest accolade comes after Angerer, 34, claimed her fifth European title – and second as No1 goalkeeper – in Sweden, saving two penalties in the final against Norway which Germany edged 1-0. Named player of the tournament, Angerer received her UEFA award with a total of ten votes from the 18 journalists on the panel, ahead of Germany and VfL Wolfsburg midfielder Lena Goessling on six. Sweden's Olympique Lyonnais striker Lotta Schelin was third with two votes.
Preparing for life at Australia's Brisbane Roar after leaving 1. FFC Frankfurt, Angerer spoke to UEFA.com following the award ceremony in Nyon.
UEFA.com: Nadine, congratulations on winning the award. Can you tell us what it means to you?
Nadine Angerer: I am very surprised and it means a lot. I worked hard for this. When you plant a lot of seeds, you are happy when the harvest is good. The best harvest was the European Championship title and now having this individual trophy on top of that, I am very proud – especially next to top-class nominees like Lotta Schelin and Lena Goessling who also won titles this year. As a goalkeeper too, I am very proud.
UEFA.com: How did it feel to stand in front of everyone and have Michel Platini announce your name and then receive the trophy from him? You seemed quite surprised?
Angerer: I was surprised, I didn't expect it. I didn't prepare a speech or anything. I was really happy to be among the last three. But to have such an outcome, I was totally surprised and I think you could tell that.
UEFA.com: You mentioned that the competition was strong. Could you say a few words about the other nominees, Lotta Schelin and Lena Goessling?
Angerer: I have known Lena for a few years now and it is incredible to see how much she's developed. A few years ago it could have gone either way, but Lena has come on really well. She was one of the reasons we had such a good European Championship. She took over some of the responsibility; she drives the game. She can take over a game, she can set up good moves. This is why she is so valuable and I think it was fully deserved for her to be in the top three.
Lotta Schelin, I've known her for ten years, we have played so many times against each other. As a goalkeeper, I must say she is an incredible striker – she's tricky and has played at a very high level for many years now. From my point of view, she's difficult to stop and is unpredictable. She is a great person as well, with a great personality. She also deserved to be here.
UEFA.com: Can you tell us something about the journey leading up to the Women's EURO? You said you changed your training routine ...
Angerer: Yes. I am an outdoors person and don't really like weightlifting, fitness centres. I needed to do something different; I could do more and get more out of myself. This is how I came to CrossFit and I worked a lot on that. When I started, I noticed how it could change my performance. Then I intensified my training and in the end it was like: if I didn't do it for two, three, four days, then I would get withdrawal symptoms. I noticed how my body changed. I got even faster; my jumping skills had changed.
Before the EURO, in the performance test with the national team I had my best jumping test results – at the age of 34! So much for the whole age discussion! I had the best endurance tests I have ever had in my career and I always had good endurance. I noticed I could actually build on that.
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