Pernille Harder named UEFA Women’s Player of the Year

UEFA Women's Player of the Year, Pernille Harder
PA Images

Pernille Harder was named as UEFA Women’s Player of the Year 2019/20 at a ceremony in Geneva. The Danish striker wins this award for the second time after 2018.

The former VfL Wolfsburg and current Chelsea forward obtained a total of 92 points in a special poll featuring journalists and coaches. Olympique Lyonnais and France defender Wendie Renard came second with 81 points, while another former Olympique Lyonnais and current Manchester City England international Lucy Bronze finished third with 28 points.

The jury was composed of the coaches of the eight clubs which participated in the 2019/20 UEFA Women’s Champions League final tournament in Spain, together with the coaches of the 12 highest-ranked teams in the latest UEFA women’s national team rankings. Also on the panel were 20 journalists specialising in women’s football, who were selected by the ESM group. The final result was based on the total number of points from the votes cast by the coaches and journalists.

In a video-recorded message, the Danish forward Harder said:

“I am very honoured to receive this award. It’s one of the biggest accolades a player can achieve individually in football, so I am very happy and proud for this.

“It shows that all the hard work and sacrifices I have made over the years have paid off, when you are named as the UEFA women’s player of the year.

“There are also people I would like to thank: my former club Wolfsburg, and all the players in the team who of course helped me to win this award. Football is a team sport, and without them I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this.

“Now I am looking forward to the up-coming season and playing in the UEFA Women’s Champions League with my new club Chelsea. This is an amazing club and I am very proud to be a part of it. I am really looking forward to future successes with my new teammates.”

On the same occasion, and for the first time, UEFA also honoured the coaches who had the biggest impact over the previous season.

UEFA Women’s Coach of the Year

In the inaugural year of the award, Jean-Luc Vasseur was voted UEFA Women’s Coach of the Year 2019/20. The French coach, who led Olympique Lyonnais last season to a record seventh European title and fifth in a row, collected a total of 122 points in a special poll featuring journalists and coaches. VfL Wolfsburg coach Stephan Lerch (Germany) came second with 78 points, while FC Barcelona coach Lluís Cortés (Spain) was third with 36 points.

The jury was composed of the coaches of the eight clubs which participated in the 2019/20 UEFA Women’s Champions League final tournament, together with the coaches of the 12 highest-ranked teams in the latest UEFA women’s national team rankings. Twenty journalists specialising in women’s football and selected by the ESM group were also part of the jury.

Jean Luc Vasseur
Olympique Lyon’s head coach Jean Luc Vasseur (PA Images)

In a video-recorded message, 51-year-old Vasseur said:

“Taking over a team of such quality has been a very big challenge, as the club had to remain at the same top level in Europe. The more difficult the challenges are, the more I will have to take them on in order to move forward.

“I would like to thank my players, because they are real champions, it’s extraordinary to coach them every day. Thanks also to the technical and medical staff, as without their support, we wouldn’t be in the position we are today.

“And of course, I would like to thank the club’s management and our president, Jean-Michel Aulas, for the trust he has showed in this team and helping to bring them to the highest possible level.”

UEFA Women’s Champions League Players of the Season

At the same ceremony, four women’s players were presented with the first UEFA Women’s Champions League positional awards.

The jury for these awards was composed of the coaches of the eight clubs which participated in the 2019/20 UEFA Women’s Champions League final tournament in Spain, together with 20 journalists specialising in women’s football and selected by the ESM group. The final result was based on the total number of points from the votes cast by the coaches and journalists.

Sarah Bouhaddi (France, Olympique Lyonnais) was crowned UEFA Women’s Champions League Goalkeeper of the Season, amassing a total of 100 points and finishing ahead of Christiane Endler (Chile, Paris Saint-Germain), who collected 60 points, and Sandra Paños (Spain, FC Barcelona), who picked up 39 points.

Wendie Renard (France, Olympique Lyonnais) was named UEFA Women’s Champions League Defender of the Season with a total of 102 points. Lucy Bronze (England, Olympique Lyonnais, now at Manchester City Women FC) finished second with 85 points and Lena Goeßling (Germany, VfL Wolfsburg) came in third with 9 points.

Dzsenifer Marozsán (Germany, Olympique Lyonnais) was crowned UEFA Women’s Champions League Midfielder of the Season, picking up a total of 66 points, while Alexandra Popp (Germany, VfL Wolfsburg) obtained 30 points to finish second and Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir (Iceland, Olympique Lyonnais, formerly at VfL Wolfsburg) ranked third with 19 points.

Pernille Harder (Denmark, VfL Wolfsburg, now at Chelsea FC Women) was named UEFA Women’s Champions League Forward of the Season, achieving a total of 93 points. Delphine Cascarino (France, Olympique Lyonnais) came second with 32 points and Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands, Arsenal Women FC) was third with 31 points.

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