German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer was awarded the FIFA Ballon d’Or, one of the most prestigious honours in football, at a ceremony in the Swiss city of Zurich on Monday evening. Angerer was one of three women up for the title.
"I have to say that I'm a little surprised, but very thankful. First of all I have to thank everybody that voted for me. I just want to pay my respects to Marta and Abby who have had an incredible year too,” Angerer said, before thanking her teammates and coaches.
Angerer was nominated for the award alongside American forward Abby Wambach and Brazilian forward Marta Vieira da Silva, who is simply known as “Marta”. Despite the fact that the three women have been overshadowed by their male counterparts in the run-up to the Ballon d’Or, they have all led sterling careers, scooping up an impressive number of honours and records along the way.
Wambach, who won the 2012 Ballon d’Or, was largely favoured to take home the award again this year. The 33 year-old had a beautiful 2013 season, scoring 11 goals in 19 matches. A native of Rochester, New York, Wambach moved closer to home to play with the Western New York Flash for its inaugural season, leading the team to the finals of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), which it ultimately lost 2-0 to the Portland Thorns.
Already a celebrity at home, Wambach made history on June 20 when she struck four goals against South Korea while playing for the US Women’s National Team to become the leading goal scorer in women’s international football. She is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist, having played for the US in both the 2004 and 2012 Games.
Meanwhile Marta, 27, who is known as the “Pelé in skirts,” has won the title of FIFA’s best women’s player five consecutive times (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010). This past year, however, was not her best season, with her Swedish club Tyreso only making it to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Angerer, however, clearly proved herself to be one of the world’s best players over the past year. The 35 year old was largely credited with leading her team to a 1-0 victory over Norway at the Euro 2013 finals after saving two penalties. The amazing feat did not go unnoticed, and the UEFA named Angerer best player of the tournament. The 2013 Ballon d’Or adds another trophy to her collection.
Date created : 2014-01-13