Mead, Kerr, Putellas: Who’s on the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year shortlist?

BBC Player of the Year

The BBC has revealed its shortlist for the Women’s Footballer of the Year award. 

Five players have been nominated in total, with each contender chosen by a panel of experts, ranging from coaches, players, administrators and journalists. 

The award first started in 2015, with previous winners including Arsenal star Kim Little, Lionesses hero Lucy Bronze and Norwegian striker Ada Hegerberg. 

Here’s a rundown of the five nominees and what each has achieved across the past year: 

Sam Kerr – Chelsea and Australia 

Kerr was in scintillating form for Chelsea last year – scoring 20 goals in 20 matches, to claim the WSL Golden Boot for the second successive season. 

The Aussie regularly popped up with some vital goals for the Blues, including a late winner against Aston Villa and two second-half strikes against Man United to help clinch Chelsea the league title. 

At international level, Kerr scored 10 goals in just six matches for the Matildas –– five of which came in one game against Indonesia. 

Kerr is the all-time leading scorer for Australia, with 59 goals in 110 caps. 

Sam Kerr
LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 15: Sam Kerr of Chelsea celebrates after scoring their team’s third goal during the Vitality Women’s FA Cup Final match between Chelsea Women and Manchester City Women at Wembley Stadium on May 15, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Beth Mead – Arsenal and England 

Mead enjoyed a stellar domestic campaign with the Gunners last season and became an undroppable member of Jonas Eidevall’s side –– despite the plethora of attacking options at his disposal. 

The winger finished with 11 goals and eight assists in the WSL and carried her exceptional form into Euro 2022. 

It proved to be a truly unforgettable tournament for the 27-year-old, who scored six goals, including a stellar hat-trick against Norway

In the end, Mead edged out Germany’s Alexandra Popp to win the Golden Boot and was also named the player of the tournament. 

Arsenal star Beth Mead
LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 04: Beth Mead of Arsenal during the Barclays FA Women’s Super League match between Arsenal Women and Tottenham Hotspur Women at Emirates Stadium on May 04, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Alexia Putellas – Barcelona and Spain 

Putellas has already been named UEFA’s Women’s Player of the Year for the second season in a row and remains the holder of the Ballon d’Or Féminin. 

The midfielder scored 34 goals in all competitions for Barcelona last season and became the first Spanish player to ever win 100 caps. 

Unfortunately, Putellas tore her anterior cruciate ligament in the build-up to the tournament and is currently in the middle of a lengthy spell on the sidelines. 

Alexia Putellas shooting
BARCELONA, SPAIN – NOVEMBER 10: Alexia Putellas of FC Barcelona scores his side’s 2nd goal during the UEFA Women’s Champions League group C match between FC Barcelona and 1899 Hoffenheim at Estadi Johan Cruyff on November 10, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

Lena Oberdorf – Wolfsburg and Germany 

It’s hard to believe Oberdorf is still only 20 years old. 

The German youngster was a commanding presence at Euro 2022 and was deservedly named the Young Player of the Tournament. 

A statement on the UEFA website said that the young midfielder “flourished in the middle of the park for the tournament runners-up, combining physical robustness, a fine reading of the game and maturity beyond her years.” 

Oberdorf has more than 30 international caps to her name already and will no doubt win plenty more. 

Lena Oberdorf
MILTON KEYNES, ENGLAND – JULY 27: Lena Oberdorf of Germany in action during the UEFA Women’s Euro England 2022 Semi Final match between Germany and France at Stadium mk on July 27, 2022 in Milton Keynes, England. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images)

Wendie Renard – Lyon and France 

Renard is one of the most successful captains in the history of women’s football, having won a record 14 French league titles and eight Champions Leagues. 

In 2022, Renard guided Lyon to another European trophy as Lyon defeated defending champions Barcelona in the final. 

Despite being a centre-back, Renard has scored more than 100 goals for Lyon since making her debut in 2006.

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