United States and Houston Dash midfielder Carli Lloyd was named the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year on Monday at the Ballon d’Or Gala in Zurich, Switzerland.
Lloyd led the U.S. to the 2015 World Cup title, becoming the first woman to score a hat trick in a World Cup final. She took home the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player and the Silver Ball as joint-top scorer.
Lloyd, who has talked for years about wanting to be the best player in the world, became the third American to win the prestigious award, joining Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach. Lloyd held back tears on stage on Monday while accepting the award.
“It truly is an honor,” Lloyd said on stage. “This has been a dream ever since I started my journey with the national team.”
Earlier Monday, Lloyd’s U.S. coach, Jill Ellis, was named 2015 FIFA Women’s World Coach of the Year.
[MORE: Lloyd, Sauerbrunn named new captains of U.S. national team]
Lloyd led the U.S. in scoring in 2015 by far, scoring 18 goals in 26 games. The next-highest scorer on the team was Christen Press with 10 goals.
Three of Lloyd’s four goals for the Houston Dash in 2015 were game-winners.
Lloyd beat out Japan midfielder Aya Miyama and Germany forward Celia Sasic – the reigning European Player of the Year – for the award.
FIFA Women’s World Player 2015 winner #CarliLloyd received 35.28% of all votes. #CeliaSasic – 12.60%. #AyaMiyama – 9.88%. #BallondOr
— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) January 11, 2016
Lloyd’s honor on Monday means that all four World Cup Golden Ball winners have also won the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award that same year since the award started in 2001. Germany’s Birgit Prinz won both awards in 2003, Brazil’s Marta won both awards in 2007 and Japan’s Homare Sawa won both awards in 2011.
In honor of Lloyd’s incredible 2015 campaign, Nike made a special pair of cleats in her honor:
Special Nike Mercurial Superfly boots for FIFA Women's World Player of the Year @CarliLloyd #BallondOr pic.twitter.com/uY6XE2yDO9
— Heidi Burgett (@heidiburgett) January 11, 2016
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