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Best Women's Player Award: the lowdown

UEFA.com's Paul Saffer gives his take on UEFA Best Women's Player award contenders Dzsenifer Marozsán, Amandine Henry and Célia Šašić after the shortlist was confirmed.

Final three: Marozsán, Henry and Šašić

On Thursday 27 August, as part of the UEFA Champions League draw ceremony in Monaco, a panel of 18 respected journalists with an interest in the female game will cast their votes for the 2014/15 UEFA Best Women's Player in Europe Award.

From the original shortlist of 11 picked by the coaches of the 2014/15 UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finalists and eight European FIFA Women's World Cup qualifiers, three nominees have emerged after the first round of voting by the panel: Amandine Henry, Dzsenifer Marozsán and Célia Šašić. Our own women's football editor Paul Saffer looks at the case for the three players hoping to take an accolade won in its inaugural two years by Nadine Kessler and Nadine Angerer.

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Amandine Henry (midfielder, Olympique Lyonnais/FRA)
Age: 25
International caps: 45
Position in 2014 vote: –
Position in 2013 vote: –

• Henry may not win the headlines like Lyon's attacking stars Lotta Schelin or Louisa Nécib but she has been just as important in their rise to prominence over the last eight years, running the midfield with tenacity and no little flair for a primarily defensive player.

• In all eight of Henry's Lyon seasons they have won the French league and she was as important as anyone in them holding off European nemeses Paris Saint-Germain last term.

• Having been recalled to the France set-up after a long absence in 2013, Henry won the Silver Ball as the second-best player at the World Cup after United States final hero Carli Lloyd, having been named player of the match in the wins against Mexico (she scored a stunning goal) and South Korea.

They say:
"She is a leader of this team. A super pro with the perfect mindset. She adds an exceptional dimension and a more offensive dimension."
France coach Philippe Bergeroo


Dzsenifer Marozsán (midfielder, FFC Frankfurt/GER)
Age: 23
International caps: 53
Position in 2014 vote: –
Position in 2013 vote: –

• The Budapest-born playmaker, daughter of former Hungary midfielder János Marozsán, was 14 when she made her senior Frauen-Bundesliga debut for her father's old club Saarbrücken.

• Following her switch to Frankfurt in 2009, the 2014/15 season was the second in a row when Marozsán was ever-present, controlling the midfield and popping up with vital goals including in both legs of the UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-final against Bristol Academy. It was her cross that created Mandy Islacker's last-gasp winner in Berlin against Paris.

• Marozsán was superb in the World Cup for semi-finalists Germany, particularly in the 4-1 round of 16 defeat of Sweden which she capped with a spectacular goal.

They say:
"One of the outstanding talents here in Germany right now. She is technically perfect, she has a great shot, a great finish, and is the heart of our game."
Frankfurt captain Kerstin Garefrekes


Célia Šašić (forward, FFC Frankfurt/GER/retired)
Age: 27
International caps: 111
Position in 2014 vote: –
Position in 2013 vote: 8th

• Going out at the top is rare but Šašić has done it, announcing her retirement last month after a year in which she was leading scorer in the Frauen-Bundesliga, UEFA Women's Champions League and World Cup, getting 49 in 41 competitive appearances for club and country in 2014/15.

• Her opening goal in Frankfurt's UEFA Women's Champions League final victory over Paris was her 14th of the campaign – equalling the competition record in what was her debut season in the tournament – including seven in the two legs of the semi-final win against Brøndby.

• Having passed 100 caps and scored twice at Wembley in a friendly win for Germany earlier in the season, Šašić claimed the World Cup Golden Boot as top scorer with six goals and one assist in Canada, including a hat-trick against Ivory Coast, two in the 4-1 defeat of Sweden and the crucial penalty equaliser in the quarter-final with France, the forward also converting in the shoot-out.

They say:
"Célia is a forward who likes to score goals but puts in a high work-rate defensively as well. Her determination to always deliver 100% for the team is a superb quality."
Frankfurt coach Colin Bell