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Sam Kerr runner-up in UEFA's player of the year awards


Sam Kerr's magnificent European season, capped back home by her striking late contribution to Australia's World Cup push, has been rewarded with her being named runner-up behind Spain's Aitani Bonmati in UEFA's player of the year awards.

While Manchester City striker Erling Haaland was voted men's player of the year and his team's manager Pep Guardiola coach of the year by European soccer's ruling body, Kerr finished second between two Spanish Women's World Cup winners, Bonmati and third-placed Olga Carmona.

Thursday's acknowledgement was a reward for another exceptional campaign for the Chelsea striker Kerr whose goals helped the Blues lift the women's FA Cup and Super League 'double' in England before her injury-hit but still impressive showing at the World Cup where she led the Matildas to the semi-finals.

But there was no surprise when Bonmati, the outstanding player at both the World Cup and in her club Barcelona's Champions League-winning run, was awarded top prize at the ceremony in Monaco on Thursday.

The brilliant midfielder marked her triumph with an eloquent speech following the controversy surrounding Spanish football after its federation president Luis Rubiales kissed one player Jenni Hermoso on the lips at the victory ceremony in Sydney.

"I want to share this award with all my teammates. I wouldn't be here without them," said Bonmati.

"We're not talking about the title because things that should not have happened have taken place. As a society, we should not allow abuse of power in the work environment.

"I would like to tell my teammate Jenni and all women who have been through the same thing: We're with you. We're working to make this a better society."

Sarina Wiegman, the women's coach of the year after leading England to the World Cup final with a win over Australia, also used her speech to address the crisis, saying the episode showed there was still a "long way to go" in the women's game and society.

"I would like to dedicate this award to the Spanish team. This team deserves to be celebrated and deserves to be listened to, and I'm going to give them again a big applause and I hope you will join," she told the audience, who did indeed salute them.

Haaland beat Argentine world champion Lionel Messi and his own City teammate Kevin De Bruyne for the award, having scored 52 goals in 53 games, with 12 in the Champions League.

Voting for the UEFA Player of the Year awards:


1 Aitana Bonmatí (Spain & Barcelona)

2 Sam Kerr (Australia & Chelsea)

3 Olga Carmona (Spain & Real Madrid)

4 Mary Earps (England & Manchester United)

5= Salma Paralluelo (Spain & Barcelona)

5= Alexandra Popp (Germany & Wolfsburg)

7 Keira Walsh (England & Barcelona)

8 Caroline Graham Hansen (Norway & Barcelona)

9 Rachel Daly (England & Aston Villa)

10 Ewa Pajor (Poland & Wolfsburg)

11 Kadidiatou Diani (France & Paris Saint-Germain [now Lyon])


1 Erling Haaland (Norway & Manchester City)

2 Lionel Messi (Argentina & PSG [now Inter Miami])

3 Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium & Manchester City)

4 İlkay Gundogan (Germany & Manchester City [now Barcelona])

5 Rodri (Spain & Manchester City)

6 Kylian Mbappe (France & Paris)

7 Luka Modric (Croatia & Real Madrid)

8 Marcelo Brozovic (Croatia & Inter [now Al Nassr])

9 Declan Rice (England & West Ham [now Arsenal])

10 Alexis Mac Allister (Argentina & Brighton [now Liverpool])

11 Jesus Navas (Spain & Sevilla)