1: Pernille Harder
A virtuoso year for the Dane, who was the focal point for both club and country in 2018. It was difficult not to feel sorry for Harder when Lyon scored four goals in quick succession to deem her Champions League final goal a mere note in history, and she also saw Denmark miss out on a World Cup spot. But none of it takes away from a year in which she starred on a regular basis, including two goals in the German Cup semi-final and a spectacular strike against Slavia Prague in Europe. With her ability to beat players, her technical prowess and her eye for goal, Harder is now arguably the most complete women’s footballer in the world. She led the goalscoring charts in the Bundesliga come the end of Wolfsburg’s title-winning 2017-18 season and, while she trailed her teammate Ewa Pajor so far this term, six goals domestically by the end of November and another half-dozen in the Champions League ensure Harder claims this year’s No 1 spot.
Stephan Lerch, VfL Wolfsburg manager:
“Pernille is a very complete player. She is particularly convincing due to her good overview of the game and her strong technique. Pernille is a real team player with a very strong head on her shoulders.”
Lars Sondegaard, Denmark head coach:
“It is for me no coincidence that she is there, where she belongs, on the top! A winner, a great teammate, who works hard for the team, a girl who always gives 100 % no matter if it is in games or in training. She runs the most and she scores the most! Top at club and national team level. Her only disappointment this year, apart from losing the Champions League final, was not qualifying for the world cup with Denmark. The World Cup in France will miss her!”