The Swedish Football Awards, Fotbollsgalan, is always a highly anticipated event and this year it was not different. A number of awards had to be given out, and eight of them involved women's football. Additionally, there was also an honorary award for Pia Sundhage.
Goalkeeper, Defender, Midfielder and Forward of the year:
As expected goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and forward of the year had to be found between the best performing players in the Swedish league, Damallsvenskan, as well as Swedish players abroad.
The three nominated players for goalkeeper of the year were Djurgårdens IF and Iceland’s Gudbjörg Gunnarsdottir as well as Sweden’s number one Hedvig Lindahl, who plays for Chelsea Ladies, and Sweden’s Hilda Carlén who plays for Piteå IF in Sweden. In the end, Lindahl ran away with the title.
The nominees for defender of the year were a mixture of Swedes abroad and Damallsvenskan defenders. Montpellier's Linda Sembrant was up against her Sweden teammate Jessica Samuelsson, who played part of the year with Linköpings FC and the other part with Arsenal, and Piteå’s Faith Ikidi. It was tough competition but Samuelsson took home the trophy.
This year’s best midfielder had to be found between Linköpings FC’s Kosovare Asllani and Claudia Neto as well as FC Rosengård's Sanne Troelsgaard. All three have been instrumental to their teams, but in the end Kosovare Asllani took home the trophy. She moved to Linköping this summer after a spell with Manchester City and was integral in bringing home the gold for Linköping this fall and has also consistently delivered good performances for Sweden.
Lieke Martens, who played for FC Rosengård until the summerbreak but now represents FC Barcelona, Stina Blackstenius who plays for Montpellier HSC in France and Kvarnsvedens IK’s Tabitha Chawinga were the three nominees for forward of the year. With her outstanding 26 goals in 22 Damallsvenskan games for a team that got relegated, Chawinga was a worthy winner.
Damallsvenskan most valuable player and Damallsvenskan breakthrough of the year:
The biggest breakthrough in Damallsvenskan is always an interesting battle, and in 2017 the jury had singled out Linköpings FC’s Tove Almqvist, Hammarby’s Filippa Angeldahl and Eskilstuna’s Loreta Kullashi with the eventual winner being Almqvist. Linköping lost a number of players ahead of the 2017 season, which opened up for Almqvist who ended up starting 20 out of 22 possible games for the league winners.
Angeldahl might have missed out on breaktrough of the year, but she ended up winning Damallsvenskan’s most valuable player. She beat Chawinga and IF Limhamn Bunkeflo’s Mia Persson. Hammarby was a Damallsvenskan newcomer this season and performed above everyone’s expectations – something Angeldahl was a big part of.
Coach of the year:
It wasn’t only players who were up for awards, as the best coach also had to be awarded. Kristianstad’s Elísabet Gunnarsdóttir beat Linköping’s Kim Björkegren and Djurgårdens IF’s Joel Riddez to the award.
Another coach, Pia Sundhage, was awarded Fotbollskanalens honorary price for all she’s done for Swedish football and in particular Swedish women’s football.
Diamantbollen - player of the year:
The final, and perhaps most prestigious award, is the Diamantbollen, or The Diamond Ball if you will.
It is currently being given out by the Swedish Football Association and the Sydsvensan newspaper and is awarded to Sweden's female player of the year. Hedvig Lindahl had won it the previous two years, but had proclaimed that she thought Kosovare Asllani should win it this year. That was exactly what happened as Asllani took home the price for the best female player for the year 2017. It was the first time she won it.