Japanese duo rewarded for a great year | TWG Japanese duo rewarded for a great year | TWG

A superb year for Japanese women's football was capped off last night with Nadeshiko captain Homare Sawa voted the women's Player of the Year and coach Norio Sasaki taking out the Coach of the Year for women's football.

In winning her maiden Ballon D'or, Sawa, who finished with 28.51% of the votes, finally dethroned Brazilian Marta (17.28%) with American Abby Wambach third with 13.26%. The Japanese captain adds this award to her FIFA World Cup medal, Adidas Golden Ball as the best player in the World Cup and the Adidas Golden Boot for her five goals.

Sasaki too was a comfortable winner of the coaches award with 45.57% of the votes, ahead of USA coach Pia Sundhage (15.83%), and France’s women’s team coach Bruno Bini (10.28%).

The awards were decided after a poll in which the captains and head coaches of the women’s national teams, as well as international media representatives selected by French football magazine France Football, voted for candidates in each of the four categories. Each group’s votes represented one third of the final result.