Pernille Harder of Wolfsburg and Denmark has been voted the 2017/18 UEFA Women's Player of the Year.
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Pernille Harder of Wolfsburg and Denmark has won the 2017/18 UEFA Women's Player of the Year award.
Harder, the sixth different winner of the award in its six-year history, finished ahead of fellow nominees Ada Hegerberg and Amandine Henry in the voting conducted by a panel of leading coaches and journalists. Hegerberg and Henry were two of seven players to make the top ten from UEFA Women's Champions League winners Lyon.
The top ten
1 Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg & Denmark) – 106 points
2 Ada Hegerberg (Lyon) – 61 points
3 Amandine Henry (Portland Thorns/Lyon & France) – 41 points
4 Dzsenifer Marozsán (Lyon & Germany) – 32 points
5 Lucy Bronze (Lyon & England) – 20 points
6 Lieke Martens (Barcelona & Netherlands) – 17 points
7 Wendie Renard (Lyon & France) – 16 points
8 Fran Kirby (Chelsea & England) – 15 points
9 Eugénie Le Sommer (Lyon & France) – 13 points
10 Shanice van de Sanden (Lyon & Netherlands) – 7 points
Why Harder won
Close to pipping Lieke Martens to last year's award after captaining Denmark to their first UEFA Women's EURO final, the 25-year-old striker spearheaded Wolfsburg's run to the UEFA Women's Champions League final – even giving her side an extra-time lead in Kyiv before Lyon came back to win.
Harder also inspired another German double for Wolfsburg with her versatile forward play, top-scoring in the Frauen-Bundesliga, as well as keeping Denmark in contention to reach the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup (their latest qualifier on Thursday meant she could not be present at the awards ceremony in Monaco and accepted the honour via a video message).
"I am extremely proud and honoured to receive this award, as I have always dreamed of playing at the highest level since I was a young kid. I would like to thank in particular my family for their support, as well as my team-mates, coaches and staff from the national team."
2017/18 honours: German League winner, German Cup winner, UEFA Women's Champions League runner-up
Previous award finishes: 2nd (2017)
UEFA Women's Champions League
FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying
Roll of honour
2017/18 ─ Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg & Denmark)
2016/17 ─ Lieke Martens (Rosengård/Barcelona & Netherlands)
2015/16 ─ Ada Hegerberg (Lyon & Norway)
2014/15 ─ Célia Šašić (FFC Frankfurt & Germany)
2013/14 ─ Nadine Kessler (Wolfsburg & Germany)
2012/13 ─ Nadine Angerer (FFC Frankfurt & Germany)
How the award worked
The UEFA Women's Player of the Year prize recognises the best players, irrespective of nationality, who played for a club within the territory of a UEFA member association during the past season. Players are judged on their performances in all club and national team competitions.
The coaches of the eight clubs that reached the quarter-finals of the 2017/18 UEFA Women's Champions League, the coaches of the 12 highest-ranked teams in the latest UEFA women's national team rankings and 20 journalists specialising in women's football (decided by the ESM group) formed the jury.
The 40-strong panel each selected a shortlist of three players, allocating respectively five points, three points and one point to each of them. The final result was based on the total number of votes cast by the coaches and the journalists. The coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.