England full-back Lucy Bronze has been named the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year at the Champions League group stage draw in Monaco.
The 27-year-old beat off strong competition from Lyon teammates Ada Hegerberg and Amandine Henry to win the award.
Bronze was unable to attend the awards ceremony as she was playing for England against Belgium in a friendly in Leuven.
However, in a pre-recorded video with UEFA.com, Bronze said she was delighted to receive the award and paid tribute to her teammates at club and international level.
“I’m ecstatic and super humbled to have won the award up against two fantastic players who I know really well at Lyon – two great girls, great players,” she said.
“I want to say huge thanks to the Lionesses, the England team. We had a great summer and I don’t think I would have won this award if it wasn’t for them.
“The same goes for the Lyon team. We had an amazing season – we won the treble. I think any one of those girls could have been up here receiving this award.”
Bronze is the first-ever English winner of the honour, which is voted for by top coaches in the women’s game and journalists.
She first came to prominence in the English game, playing for Sunderland, Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City.
Bronze left City for Lyon in 2017 and has since gone on to establish herself as one of the best defenders in the world.
She has won five major trophies with the French club including the Champions League for the last two seasons.
The full-back was England’s standout performer at the Women’s World Cup this summer, picking up the Silver Ball as the tournament’s second-best player behind the USA’s Megan Rapinoe.
Bronze was the first English player – male or female – to be shortlisted for the award, with her fifth-place finish in 2017/18 the closest anyone from the country had come to winning.
Hegerberg and Henry were comfortably clear of the rest of the pack in second and third positions, while two Women’s Super League players rounded off the top five.
Vivianne Miedema finished fourth after a stellar season with Arsenal and Netherlands, while new Manchester City signing Ellen White claimed fifth spot.
Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg), Dzsenifer Marozsan (Lyon), Caroline Graham Hansen (Wolfsburg), Lieke Martens (Barcelona) and Wendie Renard (Lyon) completed the top ten.
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