She is undoubtedly among the finest at her craft, not to mention an inspiration to young girls the world over. Abby Wambach, who netted five goals as USA triumphed at the Women's Olympic Football Tournament in London in the summer, was deservedly named FIFA Women's World Player of the Year 2012 at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on 7 January.

"It's fantastic," Wambach told FIFA.com shortly after accepting the award. "There haven't been many times in my life where I've been completely speechless, but I'm really having trouble finding the right words. Honestly, when Hope [Solo] said my name, I thought she'd made a mistake. I was sure that Alex [Morgan] would win."