In a ceremony in Zurich on Monday, Carli Lloyd, star of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, was recognized as FIFA’s Women’s World Player of the Year. Her incredible performance in last year’s World Cup, where she led the U.S. to victory in the finale with an incredible 13-minute hat trick, made her the obvious choice for the award. Despite a decade of duty on the national team, with more than 200 appearances and two Olympic titles, this was the first time Lloyd was nominated for the award. Her main contenders were Japan’s Aya Miyama and Germany’s Celia Sasic, but Lloyd won with more than 35 percent of the vote on a 10-player ballot. “This has been a dream of mine ever since I started my journey with the national team. Celia and Aya both are amazing footballers and are truly deserving of this award,” she said when receiving the award. “I want to thank [U.S. coach] Jill [Ellis], the coaching staff and all of our support staff. I wouldn’t be standing up here if it wasn’t for my teammates. To James [trainer James Galanis], we started this journey 13 years ago and you told me I could become the best player in the world. Now I can thank you for that.” Jill Ellis herself was named the top coach in women’s football. The award for Men’s Player of the Year went to FC Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi.
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