USWNT Star Abby Wambach Wins 2012 Ballon d'Or

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IJanuary 7, 2013

American women's soccer star Abby Wambach won FIFA Women's World Player of the Year honors for 2012 on Monday in Zurich, according to FIFA's official Twitter account:

The FIFA Women’s World Player of Year 2012 is Abby Wambach #Ballondor

— (@FIFAcom) January 7, 2013


The 32-year-old Wambach had a remarkable 2012 campaign, highlighted by the United States Women's National Team gold-medal-winning performance in London this past summer. Wambach scored five goals for the Americans during the Olympic tournament, including a clutch penalty late in a semifinal match against Canada.

It is Wambach's first time winning the coveted individual award, which seems long overdue in the eyes of many. She finished third in the voting in 2011 after leading the United States to an appearance in the 2011 Women's World Cup final against Japan, and fourth and fifth in the voting multiple times in past years.

Wambach's USWNT teammate Alex Morgan finished close behind her in the voting but will likely win one or two FIFA World Player of the Year awards of her own before her promising career is over. Brazil's Marta also finished behind Wambach in the voting. 

Wambach, who scored 24 goals this past year, is the first American woman to win FIFA World Player of the Year honors since Mia Hamm in 2001 and 2002. 

Japan's Homare Sawa won the award in 2011, and before then Marta had won it five consecutive times from 2006 to 2010.

But after winning the award for the first time, you can bet fans will be tuning in to see what Wambach does for an encore in 2013. 


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