They were rival captains during the Matildas’ FIFA Women’s World Cup semi-final loss to England, but Sam Kerr and Millie Bright share a special relationship off the field.
Kerr and Bright are Chelsea teammates and after the full-time whistle, the Matildas superstar was consoled by “best mate” Bright as the pair shared a warm hug together on the field.
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Kerr and England centre-back Bright enjoyed an intriguing battle during the thrilling match, with the Matildas striker scoring an incredible goal with a long-range shot after a brilliant 50-metre run through the English defence.
However, Bright had the last laugh as England won the semi-final 3-1 and progressed through to the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday against Spain, while the Matildas will play in the third v fourth playoff against Sweden.
Speaking to the media after the game, Kerr said the loss “sucks” and wished Bright well in the final.
Sam Kerr is consoled by Millie Bright after the Matildas loss to England, while Bright received Kerr’s jersey after the match. Credit: 7NEWS and Getty Images
“Millie is one of my best mates in the whole world,” Kerr said.
Such is their friendship, Bright later revealed she was lucky enough to receive the jersey that Kerr wore during the match.
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“I’ve been after this shirt for a long time,” Bright told 7NEWS as she looked down at Kerr’s jersey that she was wearing, and touched it and smiled.
“She is an incredible player and world class.
“She gets one moment and it’s in the back of the net.
“In football, we always have huge amounts of respect for our opponents and some of our opponents are more than that, they are friends as well.”
Kerr said she was devastated by the result but happy for Bright.
Chelsea teammates Millie Bright and Sam Kerr celebrate with the Women’s Super League trophy last May. Credit: Getty Images
“It (losing) sucks for one of us and I would have much preferred to play her in the final,” she said.
“She is my best mate at Chelsea.
“As much as it sucks, I wish her all the best and I hope she can win it (the final).”
Bright said she was “proud” of Kerr’s effort to overcome the calf injury that she carried through the early stages of the tournament.
“Huge respect not only for the (Matildas) team, but for Sam as well, my teammate back home,” Bright told 7NEWS.
“It’s hard, as much as she is the enemy out there tonight, she is a really good friend.
“I am really proud of her journey and having her injury and being able to be out there tonight.”
Mel McLaughlin and broadcasting legend Bruce McAvaney are leading Seven’s coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, with expert insight from Elise Kellond-Knight, Heather Garriock and more. Watch the Matildas and other key matches live and free on 7plus.