Like every year, the shortlist for the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year has been revealed. This time, it’s only five superstars fighting to claim the prestigious UK’s award and who were chosen by a panel of experts, including coaches, players, administrators, and journalists.
And the nominees are… (What? The title already spoils two of them? Oppss… He, he!)
The first nominee is one of my favorites: Megan Rapinoe, the footballer of 2019… and who knows if this year as well.
The 34-year-old USA star, who has 158 caps with her side, co-captained her national team to the big prize at the World Cup in 2019, a prize that made her claim a hoard of accolades.
She won the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top goalscorer (6), was selected as the best player of the tournament and was named MVP in the final, a game in which she scored her 50th international goal. Rapinoe was also named Best FIFA Women’s Player and received the Ballon d’Or on that same year.
Simply, a perfect year for her, but…
Our second contestant is also a thought player to beat; a powerful and skillful defender like no one else. Of course, I’m referring to England and Olympique Lyonnais’ right-back Lucy Bronze.
What can we say about her that hasn’t been said before?
It’s true that Rapinoe’s 2019 was something ridiculous good, but England’s right-back year was a complete revelation; so there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Bronze enjoyed accolades playing for both club and country in 2019, claiming the treble with Lyon, and helping England win the SheBelieves Cup and reach the World Cup semi-finals; something that they never achieved before.
She was the hero that scored a 20-yard strike in the Lionesses quarter-final win over Norway, something that gave her the award for the second-best player at the tournament.
Apart from the international panorama, she was part of the Lyon side that lifted the French league, French Cup and Champions League (winning FC Barcelona on the final game (4-1)) trophies, and she was named UEFA’s Women’s Player of the Year and was runner-up for the Women’s Ballon d’Or.
So… Not bad, Lucy! Rooting for you!
For the third, fourth and fifth place of this shortlist we have what could be considered “the underdogs of 2019″… and 2020 in this case.
First, Julie Ertz, Megan Rapinoe USA’s teammate, was an essential but often an unsung member that claimed her second World Cup winner’s medal by helping her country to succeed in France 2019.
The defensive midfielder, who had only changed her natural position as a center-back in 2017, scored a goal in the group game against Chile and was named USA Soccer Female Player of the Year for the second time. Domestically, in the NWSL, she helped her team, the Chicago Red Stars, to finish 2nd in the division and reach the play-off final, losing to North Carolina Courage.
The second underdog, and fourth in this shortlist (and that could easily win the award), is non-other than Australia’s superstar Sam Kerr.
A new arrival at Chelsea this January transfer window, the Australian star finished as top scorer in two different domestic leagues in 2019. In the Australian W-League, she found the net 13 times to win back-to-back golden boots and later on, she finished top scorer in the NWSL for the 3rd successive time with a record 18 goals for Chicago Red Stars.
Impressively, she also became the first Australian to score a hat-trick at a World Cup, netting 4 times in a group win over Jamaica and scoring a total of 5 in the tournament, one less than Golden Boot winner Rapinoe (6).
Finally, we have Vivianne Miedema, one of WSL’s superstars as well as one of the deadliest strikers in the women’s football world.
Miedema finished the 2018-19 WSL season as a champion and top goalscorer, netting 22 times as Arsenal claimed the 1st title in 7 years; merit that earned her the award of PFA Players’ Player of the Year for the season.
She was also part of The Netherlands team that miraculously reached the World Cup final, and who scored 3 goals during the tournament, which placed her as The Netherlands’ all-time top markswoman (both man and women’s category) with a total of 60 goals.
With all that said, now it’s all up to us, the fans, to decide who’ll be the winner of this award on 24th March; so… WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? RUN AND VOTE!!!