Pernille Harder announced as best in Europe

Chelsea FC Women’s Pernille Harder has been voted the 2019/20 UEFA Women’s Player of the Year as well as the Women’s Champions League Forward of the Season.

The attacking player, who joined the Blues from Wolfsburg ahead of our new campaign, has today won her second UEFA Women's Player of the Year award having received the accolade in the 2017/18 season.

Harder helped her former German club reach the Champions League final but missed out on European glory when losing 3-1 to Lyon in August. In last season’s European competition, Harder netted nine times with four of those being in the quarter-final against Glasgow City and she also supplied two assists.

The former Wolfsburg skipper won her fourth domestic Double in the Frauen Bundesliga last term, while finishing as the league’s top scorer with 27 goals, which was the highest by any player since 2010.

The Denmark captain was awarded the UEFA Player of the Year honour by a jury comprised of the coaches of the eight clubs which participated in the final tournament of the 2019/20 UEFA Women’s Champions League and 20 journalists specialising in women’s football.

The 27-year-old was voted as No.1 ahead of the 2018/19 winner Lucy Bronze, who now plays at Manchester City, but was nominated for her performances while at Lyon, and Wendie Renard from the same French side.

Upon receiving the Player of the Year award, Harder said: ‘I’m super honoured to achieve this award, it’s one of the biggest awards you can achieve individually so I’m super happy and very proud.

‘It shows me that all my hard work I put in and all the sacrificing is worth it and I get to be the Player of the Year in Europe.

‘There is of course people to thank – my old club Wolfsburg, all the players in the team, they helped me also to achieve this award because football is a team sport so I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without them. I would like to say thank you to them.

‘Now I’m looking forward to the next season to come now I’m here at Chelsea, I’m looking forward to playing Champions League with Chelsea and hopefully win it in the future. It’s an amazing club and I’m looking forward to be a part of it.

‘A new year has started and I will do everything I can to be the best this year as well.’

UEFA introduced a new award to recognise the season's best women’s player in each position from the European competition and Harder also topped the ranking in the forwards category. She saw off competition from Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema and Delphine Cascarino of Lyon.

Harder spoke about being awarded the Women’s Champions League Forward of the Season honour and said: ‘It means a lot to get this individual award. It shows that I’m doing the right thing and that I’m on the right path so I’m super happy about it.’

The awards were announced during the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League group stage draw in Switzerland, however Harder did not attend the ceremony and received her accolades at Chelsea’s training ground.
 

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