Matildas striker Sam Kerr faces a three-way battle to be crowned Europe’s 2022/23 Women’s Footballer of the Year.
Kerr, along with Spanish duo Aitana Bonmati and Olga Carmona, are in the running for the award presented by European soccer’s governing body UEFA.
The Australian forward scored 29 goals in all competitions last season as Chelsea won their fourth consecutive FA Women’s Super League title as well as the Women’s FA Cup.
She also reached the semi-finals of the World Cup with Australia, scoring one of the goals of the tournament as the Matildas went down 3-1 to England in the last four.
Bonmati and Carmona were part of the Spain team which beat the English 1-0 to win the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup in Sydney.
Sam Kerr has been nominated for the 2022/23 UEFA Women’s Player of the Year award. Credit: Getty Images
Bonmati had a stellar domestic campaign with Barcelona, helping the club seal a fourth consecutive Spanish League title as well as winning the Champions League and the Spanish Super Cup.
Carmona scored the winning goal in the World Cup final, but had little success with her club side Real Madrid, who finished second behind Barcelona in the league and runners-up in the Copa de la Reina.
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UEFA also announced the candidates for women’s coach of the year, with Barcelona’s Jonatan Giraldez, Spain’s Jorge Vilda and England’s Sarina Wiegman the three final nominees.
The winners will be announced, along with the men’s player and coach of the year, at the 2023/24 Champions League group-stage draw in Monaco on August 31.
Kerr’s nomination for the 2022/23 UEFA Women’s Player of the Year award comes after she was honoured following her brilliant goal during Australia’s FIFA Women’s World Cup heartbreaking semi-final loss to England.
With the Matildas trailing 1-0 and desperate to get back in the game, Kerr levelled the scores after an amazing 50m run through the English defence was capped off with a spectacular long-range shot.
The strike features among 10 nominees for the official FIFA Goal of the Tournament award.
“The goal that made a nation erupt,” FIFA wrote.
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“A dream realised, the physical, tangible embodiment of hope. Sam Kerr.”
Fans can head to the FIFA website to vote for Kerr’s strike.
Kerr’s incredible strike left the commentators stunned as a nation began to believe.
“What a goal! Sam Kerr, from the top drawer. It just had to be. World Cup goal No.6, international goal No.64,” David Basheer said in commentary for Channel 7.
“That is a howitzer from Sam Kerr. It took a little nick off Millie Bright, but no one was stopping that. Suddenly, Stadium Australia erupts into a frenzy.”
Former Matildas star Grace Gill added: “Well, who else but Sam Kerr?”
“The moment we’ve been waiting for, the moment she’s been waiting for, and what a response from the Matildas,” she said.
“It was a well-read interception by Clare Hunt, does really well just to feed out through (Katrina) Gorry, and this is where Kerr is so dangerous. Running, at pace, at her Chelsea teammate in Millie Bright, a little glance up, and that is a world class strike.
“Kerr had a lot of work to do on that strike — a lot of work. She had two defenders closing down (on her and) she had Mary Earps to beat.”
– With Joel Martelli