Abby Wambach: USA striker named world's best female player

USA striker Abby Wambach has been voted the Fifa women's world player of the year at the Ballon d'Or gala in Zurich.

Wambach, 32, who was named as player of the tournament as USA won London 2012 Olympic gold, beat Brazil star Marta and team-mate Alex Morgan to the award.

Previous Fifa women's player of the year winners

  • Mia Hamm (USA) - 2001, 2002
  • Birgit Prinz (Germany) - 2003, 2004, 2005
  • Marta (Brazil) - 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
  • Homare Sawa (Japan) - 2011

"Winning any individual award is a product of the team you play for," she said. "I've never scored a goal without receiving a pass from my team-mates."

Sweden's ex-USA coach Pia Sundhage was named women's coach of the year.

The award capped a fantastic year for Wambach, who scored five goals to help the USA defend their Olympic title and won the Golden Ball, given to the tournament's best player.

Wambach, who has scored 152 goals in 198 appearances for her country, collected 20.67% of the women's world player of the year votes.

Five-time winner Marta was runner-up with 13.5% as Morgan [10.87%] finished third.

Abby Wambach

Abby Wambach helped USA to Olympic gold

"I really didn't expect this," said Wambach, who is currently without a club side following the Women's Professional Soccer league in the United States folding in 2012.

"Thanks to Fifa and President [Sepp] Blatter for having us. Pia, coaching staff and the medical staff as well, thank you.

"Thanks to all the fans out there who continue to inspire me and the rest of the team to win as many games as we can."

Sundhage, 52, was recognised for leading the USA to their second successive Olympic gold medal after a 2-1 win against final opponents Japan at Wembley.

But the Swede stepped down from the role less than a month later,  before announcing she was taking charge of her home nation.

Sundhage earned 28.59% of the votes, ahead of Japan coach Norio Sasaki (23.83%) and France team coach Bruno Bini (9.02%).