National Japanese women soccer team captain, Homare Sawa, was selected as Best Women Players in FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2011 in Zurich on Monday (09/01/2012). Thus, the 33-year-old player was listed as the first footballer from Asia that have won this award.
However, the award gives greater meaning to the Japanese. Japanese public, ranging from officials to the people, rejoicing in the euphoria because the achievement Homare Sawa. They say, like sunlight, Homare Sawa has given hope to the country often hit by natural disasters.
Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihiko Noda, also expressed his praise to Homare Sawa when visiting Ishinomaki, one of the devastated city in northern Japan.
"This is encouraging news since the new year has just begun. I am very proud of her," he said as quoted by AFP.
One of Japan's government spokesman also said that the achievements Homare Sawa and his team can encourage the Japanese people are still trying to get out of the impact of the earthquake and tsunami. The same thing also submitted by the Cabinet Secretary of Japan, Osamu Fujimura.
"Women's soccer team gave us hope and enlightenment when Japan faced a series of difficulties after the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011," he said in a news conference in Tokyo.
Homare Sawa looks graceful when present in the Ballon d'Or Gala. He was wearing a kimono, traditional Japanese clothing, when accepting the award presented by the famous Colombian singer Shakira. Midfielder INAC Kobe Leonessa club is dedicated his victory to the people of Japan.
"This Cup will be stored in the Japanese Football Association, so everyone can see it," he said as quoted by the official FIFA website.
Last year, Homare Sawa won the Golden Boot as top scorer and ball gold as the best player for the first time when Japan won the Women's Soccer World Cup in Germany.