Nominee for the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award, Kelly Smith had only been in Zurich for an hour before she met FIFA.com for an exclusive interview on the eve of the footballing Oscars. The England striker, who has been impressive form for club and country over the past 12 months, was visibly delighted when she was asked how it felt to be named among the world's top five female footballers.
"It's amazing to be here," she told FIFA.com. "I'm thrilled and trying to take everything in. I'm really looking forward to the evening. I'm very proud to be here - and proud to be nominated as one of the best five players in the world - alongside the likes of [Birgit] Prinz and Marta - it's an honour and a great personal achievement."
A member of Arsenal's quadruple winning squad in the 2006/7 season, notching 30 goals in the process, Smith was given an MBE [Member of the Order of the British Empire] by the Queen for her services to football in 2008. However, despite the medals, Smith still rates the FIFA Women's World Cup China 2007 as her personal pinnacle.
"The highlight of my career so far has been playing in the 2007 World Cup and reaching the quarter-finals," she continued. "It was our first major tournament for 12 years and it was a big accomplishment for our team. I'm proud of that and also because of the fact that I scored four goals in the tournament. To play in big stadiums, in front of big crowds and against the best teams and players in the world was an incredible experience."
Now 30, Smith who was named as ‘the best player in the world' by Netherlands coach Vera Pauw following a hat trick two years ago, still has two targets remaining in her career: to be crowned as the best in the world in two different ways!
"For me now, the No1 goal is to win the World Cup," she smiled. "It's every child's dream - and I'm no different. Obviously, I'd love to win the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Award tonight too!"
Don't miss the complete interview on video which will appear on FIFA.com shortly in which Smith speaks about her time in the US and important changes in the FA Women's Premier League.