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Germay goalkeeper Nadine Angerer was voted the inaugural winner of the UEFA Best Women's Player in Europe Award for the season 2012/13.
Angerer, who recently left 1. FFC Frankfurt for Australia's Brisbane Roar, topped the vote from a jury composed of 18 journalists, each committed to supporting women's football, and selected by the European Sports Media Group (ESM). The 34-year-old received a total of ten votes, leaving in second place UEFA Women's Champions League-winning VfL Wolfsburg and Germany midfielder Lena Goessling on six. Sweden's Olympique Lyonnais striker Lotta Schelin was third with two.
Captaining Germany to victory at UEFA Women's EURO 2013 in Sweden in July, her fifth triumph in the competition, Angerer saved two penalties in the 1-0 final defeat of Norway in Solna. She was named player of the tournament by the UEFA Technical Team, heading the all-star squad in which team-mate Goessling and adidas Golden Boot winner Schelin also featured.
"Thank you," said Angerer. "I am very surprised. I didn't think that I would win it but I am delighted that I have. I would like to thank those who elected me and would especially like to thank [Germany coach] Silvia Neid who maintained confidence in me when I had a hard time at Frankfurt after my injury - I'm very grateful for that.
"This prize came so unexpectedly. I don’t know what to say. There was strong competition from Lena Goessling and Lotta Schelin, Lena won every title this year, she played a fantastic [EURO] tournament, and Lotta is an incredible forward, so that’s why I’m so proud to have won this.
"It’s special to win this award as a goalkeeper, it's really fantastic. My playing style is that I don't stay stuck on the line, so perhaps you can't talk about a goalkeeper now, but a 'goal player'."
UEFA Executive Committee member and UEFA Women's Football Committee chairwoman Karen Espelund added: "It's probably the right time to have launched this best player award, because we have had the EURO and Champions League for many years now. The competition at European level is really tough now, again it was a German year, with Wolfsburg winning the Champions League final and Germany winning the EURO again.
"All of those watching the Champions League final and the EURO saw the immense development. The most impressive development in the EURO was the status of goalkeeping. There were only good goalkeepers, and some very good ones – [Nadine] was one of them as the final proved."
Angerer received her award from UEFA President Michael Platini and Arsenal FC manager Arsène Wenger in Nyon. Wenger said: "Some of the Arsenal women's team work with us every day. I have followed women's football since the start, I was a bit sceptical at the start, but it has become very popular, and now I must say, I watched the [UEFA Women's Champions League] final, and it was very interesting, and I watch the national teams now as well. The technical level is very good and overall, I’m quite surprised how quickly it has spread, and it has become very popular now."
For this award, players were judged on their performances during the 2012/13 campaign in all competitions, both domestic and international, and at club and national team levels. The initial shortlist of the top ten players had been provided by the coaches of the teams taking part in UEFA Women's EURO 2013, as well as the coaches of the clubs which participated in last season's UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finals. Each coach provided a list of their top five players, with the first receiving five points, the second four points, the third three points, the fourth two points and the fifth one point.
A list of the top ten players was then passed to the panel of 18 journalists. They voted for their top three players, giving the first five points, the second three points and third one point. This then formed the shortlist of three for the final vote.
UEFA also revealed a list of the players placed fourth to tenth in Europe as a consequence of the second round of voting by the aforementioned panel of journalists:
4 Nadine Kessler (GER, VfL Wolfsburg) – number of points, 16
5 Verónica Boquete (ESP, Tyresö FF) – 11
6 Caroline Seger (SWE, Tyresö FF) – 8
7 Nilla Fischer (SWE, Linköpings FC/VfL Wolfsburg) – 6
8 Célia Okoyino da Mbabi (GER, SC 07 Bad Neuenahr/1. FFC Frankfurt) – 4
9 Wendie Renard (FRA, Olympique Lyonnais) – 3
10 Louisa Necib (FRA, Olympique Lyonnais) – 2