Sam Kerr: Finalist in focus
Sam Kerr is one of three finalists for The Best FIFA Women’s Player
Having conquered Australia and the USA, the striker is now dazzling in England
Kerr’s stats, quotes and achievements with club and country go under the microscope
Won her second FA Women’s Super League (WSL) title with Chelsea in as many seasons.
Topped the WSL scoring chart for the first time with 21 goals in 22 appearances.
Helped the Blues reach their first UEFA Women’s Champions League final.
Ended 2021 as Australia’s top scorer (7) and assist-provider (3).
Became the Matildas’ all-time leading scorer.
Captained her country to a fourth-place finish at Tokyo 2020 – Ausrtalia’s best-ever performance at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament.
Scored six times in as many appearances at the Olympics to become the competition’s second-top scorer.
Although she left in 2020, Kerr – with 77 goals in 119 appearances – remains the highest scorer in NWSL history. She also held that distinction in Australia’s W-League until March of last year, when her record of 70 was eclipsed by Michelle Heyman.
With 49 goals, Kerr is the Matildas’ all-time leading scorer. She broke Lisa De Vanna’s existing record during the Olympics and, while De Vanna had accumulated her 47 strikes in 150 appearances, Kerr needed just 99 outings to set a new benchmark. She now requires just two more goals to surpass Tim Cahill’s 50-goal mark and become the highest-scoring Australian of either gender.
In the space of just four years, Kerr has won an incredible six Golden Boot awards across three separate leagues, in three different continents (NWSL in 2017, 2018, 2019; W-League in 2017/18 and 2018/19; WSL in 2020/21).
What they said about Kerr…
“As far as I’m concerned Sam Kerr is the best striker in the world. She takes responsibility. Every time I listen to her and every time I watch her perform, she’s in charge and in control of making sure that she sets the standards for herself. That’s what I admire about her.” Emma Hayes, Chelsea manager
“I could stand for hours and talk about Sam Kerr. It’s such a privilege to be a small part of her phenomenal career. She’s not just a phenomenal and world-class footballer – she’s a phenomenal and world-class person as well. Her influence on this team on and off the pitch can’t be described in words.” Tony Gustavsson, Australia coach
“I’d like to say that, ‘If we do this, we’ll stop Sam Kerr’ but it just doesn’t work like that. She’s so dynamic and so unpredictable that no matter what you do, she always figures out a way to make it tougher.” Vlatko Andonovski, USA coach
Did you know?
Kerr was still just 15 when she made her first senior international appearance in February 2009. She had debuted for Perth Glory in the W-League a few months earlier, just 45 days after blowing out the candles on her birthday cake.
Her trademark celebration started even earlier. “I had always seen on the TV, at the Olympics, people doing flips and I was like 'I want to do that',” she explained. “I taught myself down a hill at school one day and worked out that if I backflipped down a hill I'd give myself more time to land, and then it stuck from there.”
The striker comes from a sporting family. Her father and brother were both professional Aussie rules footballers.
Kerr herself played Aussie rules almost exclusively until switching to soccer at the age of 12. "I was totally crap in my first season," she recalled. “I didn’t know the rules, I didn’t know offside, I didn’t understand why no-one would pass me the ball.”
Her father was born in Kolkata, India before moving to Australia, and Sam has spoken of being “really proud” of her Indian heritage.
Kerr won her 100th cap in September, becoming just the 10th Matildas player to reach that milestone.
She has been named Professional Footballers Australia Women's Footballer of the Year on five occasions – more than any player in the honour’s history.
At France 2019, she became the first Australian player of either gender to score a World Cup hat-trick.
The Matildas striker is in a relationship with USA international midfielder Kristie Mewis, an opponent in the Tokyo 2020 bronze medal match.
What Sam said…
"My favourite type of goal? I'd be lying if I said I didn't love a header. I think I'm pretty good in the air. I like the ones that are easiest because a goal's a goal no matter how it goes in."
“There was always a lot of pressure in my family to be a sports fanatic or play sport. Whether it was from outside noise or within the house, there were always games and competitions in our family. I think it shaped me into the person and player I am.”
“I’m a big goal-setter. I write them down before the start of a season. I used to write them down in a journal but now I keep them in my phone. I have short and long-term goals, but I always make sure I include goals that are easy to smash because I feel this helps me along the way.”