Football

Malawian superstar Tabitha Chawinga wins French league’s top award

Malawi and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG)’s women’s football superstar Tabitha Chawinga has won France’s National Professional Footballers Player-of-the-Year Award for the women’s section. The 27-year-old rubbed shoulders with Kylian Mbappé who achieved a similar feat for the men’s category at the 32nd edition of the Trophées UNFP ceremony held in Paris last evening.

The Scorches captain received the award in recognition of her remarkable feat of the most 18 league goals and 10 assists, effectively shrugging off competition from teammates Grace Geyoro and Sakina Karchaoui who also received nominations for the award alongside Lyon’s Lindsey Horan and Ada Hegerberg.

Tabitha also had an extraordinary season with Inter Milan women’s side last season, as she became the first-ever African footballer to earn the Golden Boot Award in the Italian’s Serie A Feminine with 23 goals in 21 games.

She was then on loan at Inter Milan from Chinese Women’s Super League side, Wuhan FC who eventually released her to PSG for yet another loan spell this season.

The Malawian also won the Player-of-the-Season awards in the 2018 and 2019 seasons in the Chinese Women’s Super League while on the books of Jiangsu Suning, before she joined her younger sister Temwa at Wuhan.

However, apart from winning many local awards in Malawi, Tabitha has never been recognised in Africa with the furthest being her mere nomination of the CAF Women’s Player of the Year Award four times.

On the men’s front, it was a perfect farewell gift for Mbappé who is leaving the French Ligue 1 champions after also winning the Golden Boot Award with 27 goals.

The World Cup winner has won the award five times, including four on the bounce and he is PSG’s all-time leading scorer.

PSG were the biggest winners at the awards ceremony as their custodian Gianluigi Donnarumma bagged the Goalkeeper-of-the-Year gong after finishing the season with 11 clean sheets.

The keeper’s teammate Warren-Zaïre Emery received the Young Player-of-the-Year accolade whereas Stade Brestois’ Éric Roy was named Coach-of-the-Year.

Source: SABC

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