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BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 2020: Sam Kerr profile
We are profiling each of the five nominees for the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 2020 award. You can vote for your winner on the BBC Sport website until Monday, 2 March at 09:00 GMT. The result will be revealed on Tuesday, 24 March on BBC World Service.
Age: 26 Position: Forward Plays for: Chelsea and Australia
Achievements in 2019
- Top scorer in US and Australian leagues
- Scored 18 NWSL goals, record number for one season
- First Australian to score hat-trick at World Cup
Did you know?
- Played Australian rules football until age of 12 – her dad, born in India, played professionally
- Is all-time record goalscorer in USA and Australia leagues
- Partner is former Chicago Red Stars team-mate Nikki Stanton
In her own words
“Last year was a rollercoaster with the World Cup, playing for Chicago in the [NWSL Championship] final and losing the final – so there was a lot of ups and downs. But any time you represent your country in the World Cup, it’s an amazing feeling and an amazing honour. It didn’t go the way we wanted it to, but it was a huge learning curve so that was probably the highlight. On a personal level, probably the Chicago semi-final and scoring the goal that sent them to their first final.”
Your football heroes growing up?
“Ronaldo, but I call him the original Ronaldo, from Brazil – I always wore his jersey, never took it off. David Beckham, just loved him, I thought he had everything, and now CR7 [Cristiano Ronaldo]. I love the way he plays, the star power he has and the way he performs week in, week out.”
Tell us about your stance on women’s player salaries?
“I’ve done a lot of work to get where I am. I’m proud of what I have achieved, but it’s just a start. It’s always been an uncomfortable subject but it’s uncomfortable because of what people get paid – it’s not enough. So I think it should be talked about more and should be celebrated more when girls do earn huge contracts, so for me it’s hopefully a changing of the times. It’s about time that girls start getting paid more and get what they deserve.”
“I want to win trophies, that’s part of the reason why I’m at Chelsea. I’ve always missed out – it feels like I’ve lost in the final a million times. [Chelsea] needed those extra few pieces to really become a title team and they’ve been absolutely killing it without me so my plan is to slide in as easy as I can and hopefully win some trophies with them. I don’t care what trophy it is, I just want to win one!”
Why did you switch from Australian rules?
“It’s a funny story. The boys matured and as a girl I was a bit later, so they were a bit too strong. I came home with a few bloody lips and bloody noses and my brother and dad said ‘no, that’s it, you’ve got to get out of that sport’. Being the older brother, he was getting quite angry and it was getting to the point where these boys could hurt me. I was still a young kid and they were teenagers, so I just got pulled out really.
“The AFL game is so less controlled than football. The ball can go anywhere at any time and you have to adapt and I think that’s something about my game. From knowing everything about the game, to going to football where I was the worst player in the team – I couldn’t control the ball to save my life – it was a hard transition, but I was still young, luckily, so I just made it work.”
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