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Denmark’s Pernille Harder named UEFA women’s player of the year

Danish forward Pernille Harder, who recently signed for Chelsea, was named the UEFA women’s player of the year at a ceremony on Thursday on the sidelines of the men’s Champions League draw.

Harder, 27, helped German club Wolfsburg to the final of the Champions League, where they lost to reigning champions Lyon.

“I am super happy and very, very proud,” said Harder in a video message after being named the winner.

The prize perhaps carries greater weight this year because there will be no Ballon d’Or, organisers France Football cancelling that gala ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Harder came second to Ada Hegerberg for the inaugural women’s Ballon d’Or in 2018.

She was the top scorer in last season’s women’s Bundesliga with 27 goals in a 22-game campaign as Wolfsburg defended their title, and netted a total of 103 goals for the German side in 113 appearances over three and a half years.

Her arrival at Chelsea, following their recent acquisition of Australia’s Sam Kerr, will make the London side a force to be reckoned with in this season’s Champions League.

“I’m looking forward to playing in the Champions League with Chelsea and hopefully also win it in the future. It’s an amazing club that I’m looking forward to being a part of.”

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