By Iminza Keboge
Published June 2, 2017
Ada Hegerberg, a Norwegian striker who plays for Olympique Lyonnais in France, beat a field of five nominees in the contest determined by voting football fans from across the world. Thirty-one-year-old Marta Vieira da Silva of Brazil and 33-year-old Christine Sinclair of Canada were placed second and third, respectively.
Sweden’s Hedvig Lindahl, 34, and Germany’s Melanie Behringer, 31, had also been nominated for the third BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 2017.
On receiving the award presented to her by her 23-year-old sister Andrine, a midfielder for Birmingham City in England, in front of her Olympique Lyonnais team-mates in France, Hegerberg said,”It’s really special, so many people from different cultures and countries voting for this trophy, it’s a huge motivation in itself.”
The award follows a sterling performance by the striker, who played a big part in her French club’s treble-winning season in 2016 with 33 league goals and 13 Champions League goals.
Ada Hegerberg was the only player to score more goals than Cristiano Ronaldo in Uefa competitions in 2016, netting 18 compared to the Real Madrid and Portugal forward’s 17.
Hegerberg, was voted Uefa Best Women’s Player in Europe for 2016 and became the first female winner in 20 years of Norway’s Golden Ball award for the country’s best footballer.
Hegerberg is the third winner of this BBC World Service award, following Nigeria forward Asisat Oshoala in 2015 and Scotland midfielder Kim Little in 2016.