Women's Player of the Year: why Lieke Martens won

Lieke Martens has won the UEFA Women's Player of the Year award after her player-of-the-tournament performance at UEFA Women's EURO 2017.

©Sportsfile

On 12 July, Barcelona announced that they had signed Lieke Martens – and within a month had a European champion, and now the UEFA Women's Player of the Year 2016/16 on their hands.

The 24-year-old winger was named player of the tournament after helping the Netherlands to victory on home soil at UEFA Women's EURO 2017, scoring in the final against Denmark. Her pace, skill and ability to play a killer pass were on full display throughout the Netherlands' perfect run of six wins.

Before UEFA Women's EURO 2017, Martens had been a consistent performer for Swedish side Rosengård with a fine goalscoring record before leaving for the club who beat them in the UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finals, Barcelona, as part of their summer signing spreee.

Honours: UEFA Women's EURO 2017

Domestic league
Rosengård 2017
Appearances: 11
Goals: 8

UEFA Women's Champions League
Appearances: 5
Goals: 0
Assists: 1

Lieke Martens was player of the tournament
Lieke Martens was player of the tournament©Getty Images

UEFA Women's EURO
Appearances: 6
Goals: 3
Assists: 2

Paul Saffer, UEFA.com women's football editor:

  • Menaced all of the Netherlands' finals opponents and provided assists and goals at crucial times for a team who were not among the main favourites before kick-off.
  • A brilliant winger with a range of tricks who was inspired by the pressure and the spotlight of performing for the hosts at a major tournament.
  • Even before UEFA Women's EURO 2017, her performances and goals for Rosengård had made her a target for ambitious Barcelona.

Like Martens: reaction
"This is so amazing. It's a big honour, I'm really proud but I couldn't achieve this without my team-mates. I'm really proud, I'm speechless."