"It's really special," Bronze told BBC.

"I'm still a bit surprised, I didn't know why everyone was clapping at first.

"I was very grateful to even be nominated.

"The people who've been nominated alongside me are really great players and had really great years," she said.

Thousands of fans cast their votes as the 26-year-old Bronze beat Netherlands forward and FIFA Women's Player of the Year 2017, Lieke Martens who came second.

The other two nominees on theย five-player shortlist included Denmark's Pernille Harder and Germany's Dzsenifer Marozsan.

Bronze scored for Manchester City as they beat Birmingham City 4-1 to win the Women's FA Cup for the first time in May 2017 before her move to French giants Olympique Lyonnais saw her score the lone goal in the Champions League semi-final against her former club to put Olympique into the Final.

Martens helped her country win Euro 2017 on home soil, while Kerrย is the all-time leading scorer in the NWSL with 43 goals.