She keeps bagging them. Malawian women’s football star Tabitha Chawinga says she feels greatly honoured to have been named 2022/23 Women’s Footballer of the Season in Italy.
The awards were presented by the Associazione Italiana Calciatori during a gala dinner on Monday night.
The Scorchers captain was also named the best forward, having scored 23 league goals during her season-long loan stint and was named in the league’s best 11 following her exploits with Inter Milan Women’s Team.
In an interview yesterday, Tabitha, who is on another one year loan deal at French women’s First Division side Paris Saint Germain (PSG), said: “I really can’t put it in words, but I am so excited. I’s a great honour.”
On whether she expected to be named the best, the 27-year-old said: “I fancies my chances because I had an exceptional season, but not as an outright winner as there were also other outstanding players.
“I thank God Almighty for all this because He is my source of inspiration. He guides me all the time and without Him, I am nothing”
Tabitha also hailed her former teammates and fans at Inter, saying: “They were there for me, it was all about team spirit. The fans were really amazing so were the coaches.”
She said she will live to cherish the moment.
“I have won similar awards in China and Sweden, but I guess this was a bigger stage where competition is really tough,” said Tabitha
On whether this was enough testimony that she deserved to make the second list of the Africa Woman Footballer of the Year Award, she said: “I don’t know, things happen for a reason so I guess there is always next time.”
During her first season in China, she also won several accolades, including Footballer of the Year and golden boot awards while starring for Superleague side Jiangsu Suning.
She retained the two awards the following season before moving to her current parent club Wuhan Jiangda where she teamed up with her sister Temwa.
National Women’s Football Association chairperson Adellaide Migogo and Football Association of Malawi president Walter Nyamilandu said Tabitha deserved the awards.
Said Migogo: “It’s not surprising at all. She was by far the best player and we are proud of her achievements.
“A real footballing ambassador who continues to fly the country’s flag high out there.”
On the other hand, Nyamilandu said: “Tabitha is a superstar. This is very insipirational to girls that are playing football in Malawi.
“It is great to see a Malawian dominating top-flight football in Europe.
“It’s not a mean feat at all considering that there are other world-class players in Italy