Player of the tournament as the Netherlands won UEFA Women's EURO 2017 on home soil, Barcelona forward Lieke Martens has been named UEFA Women's Player of the Year for the 2016/17 season.
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Dutch star Lieke Martens has been named UEFA Women's Player of the Year for the 2016/17 season.
The 24-year-old Barcelona forward, who recently helped the Netherlands to win UEFA Women's EURO 2017 on home soil and aided Rosengård to the UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finals, received the award at a ceremony during the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League group stage draw in Monaco on Thursday.
She finished ahead of her fellow shortlisted candidates – Wolfsburg and Denmark striker Pernille Harder and Olympique Lyonnais and Germany playmaker Dzsenifer Marozsán – in a poll of the 16 UEFA Women's EURO 2017 coaches and the eight who led teams in the UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finals, together with 20 journalists specialised in women's football and selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group.
"This is so amazing," said Martens after receiving the award. "It's a big honour. I'm really proud, but I couldn't achieve this without my team-mates. I'm speechless!"
Martens, named by UEFA as player of the tournament at Women's EURO after scoring three goals in the Netherlands' march to the European crown, received 95 points in the poll, with Harder (81 points) and Marozsán (47 points) finishing second and third respectively.
The UEFA Women's Player of the Year award is based on players' performances during the 2016/17 season in all competitions, both domestic and international, and at club and national team levels.
Martens, born in Nieuw-Bergen in the south of the Netherlands, began her club career with Heerenveen and went on to play for Venlo, Standard Liège, Duisburg, Göteborg and Rosengård before joining Barcelona just prior to UEFA Women's EURO 2017 having scored eight times in 11 Swedish league games this year.
She has found the net 33 times in 80 appearances for the Netherlands after making her debut in 2011, and also took part in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada, scoring her country's first-ever goal in the competition's finals as the Dutch reached the round of 16. She subsequently struck in their 4-2 final defeat of Denmark at UEFA Women's EURO 2017 earlier this month, her third goal of the tournament.
1: Lieke Martens (Netherlands, Rosengård and Barcelona)
2: Pernille Harder (Denmark, Linköping and Wolfsburg)
3: Dzsenifer Marozsán (Germany, Lyon)
4: Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands, Bayern München and Arsenal)
5: Eugénie Le Sommer (France, Lyon)
6: Wendie Renard (France, Lyon)
7: Jackie Groenen (Netherlands, FFC Frankfurt)
8: Lucy Bronze (England, Manchester City and Lyon)
9: Jodie Taylor (England, Arsenal)
10: Shanice van de Sanden (Netherlands, Liverpool)
Previous winners of the award:
2012/13 ─ Nadine Angerer (Germany, FFC Frankfurt)
2013/14 ─ Nadine Kessler (Germany, Wolfsburg)
2014/15 ─ Célia Šašić (Germany, FFC Frankfurt)
2015/16 ─ Ada Hegerberg (Norway, Lyon)
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