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UEFA Women's Player of the Year nominee: The case for Sam Kerr

The Australia and Chelsea forward is one of three nominees for the 2022/23 UEFA Women's Player of the Year award.

Watch Sam Kerr in action

Sam Kerr is one of three top nominees for the 2022/23 UEFA Women's Player of the Year award. UEFA.com analyses why she is in the running alongside Aitana Bonmatí and Olga Carmona.

Why she was nominated

All eyes were on Sam Kerr during the 2022/23 campaign, ahead of a FIFA Women's World Cup that had the potential to etch her name into footballing and Australian folklore. There was no hint of pressure during her domestic campaign with Chelsea, as the 29-year-old continued the prolific form from her previous two years in London.

Kerr managed 12 goals in 21 games as Chelsea won a third successive Women's Super League title and added a dozen more as they retained the FA Cup, Kerr scoring the only goal at Wembley against Manchester United. The London club also reached the League Cup final, when she was also on target in the loss to Arsenal.

In the UEFA Women's Champions League, Kerr became the first player to score four in a group game as the Blues cruised past Vllaznia. Chelsea went on to make the semis, ousting holders Lyon on penalties in the quarter-finals – the Australian among the scorers in the shoot-out.

Named player of the year by English journalists, Kerr suffered an injury in the lead-up to the World Cup that had Australia gripped as she worked her way back to fitness. The co-hosts advanced from the group stage without her, but Kerr was back, initially as a substitute, in the knockout phase and scored in the epic shoot-out against France in the quarter-finals. She returned to the starting XI against England in the last four and although Australia fell short, her stunning equaliser produced the biggest roar of the tournament. Fourth place was Australia's best-ever finish, and the best performance from a Women's World Cup host since 2003.

Sam Kerr celebrates the Champions League penalty shoot-out win against Lyon
Sam Kerr celebrates the Champions League penalty shoot-out win against LyonUEFA via Getty Images

2022/23 in numbers

English league champion, FA Cup winner

UEFA Women's Champions League
Appearances: 10
Goals: 5
Assists: 2
Player of the Match awards: 1

FIFA Women's World Cup finals
Appearances: 4
Goals: 1
Assists: 0
Player of the Match awards: 0

Domestic league
Appearances: 21
Goals: 12
Assists: 5

All of Sam Kerr's 2022/23 Women's Champions League goals

Key performance

Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United (FA Women's Cup final)
Rising to the occasion on the biggest stage, Kerr scored the only goal in front of a world-record women's domestic competition crowd at Wembley Stadium, timing her run perfectly to poke in Pernille Harder's pass.

It was her sixth goal in four FA Cup appearances last season and continued Chelsea's virtual dominance of the English game since they won the race for her signature from Chicago Red Stars in 2020. Kerr has more than played her part in those successes, surpassing 29 goals in all three of her full campaigns with the Blues.

Sam Kerr with the FA Cup at Wembley
Sam Kerr with the FA Cup at WembleyChelsea FC via Getty Images

Who was last year's winner?

Alexia Putellas was the 2021/22 UEFA Women's Player of the Year after the most prolific season of her club career with 34 goals as Barcelona won a clean sweep of Spanish trophies and reached another UEFA Women's Champions League final. The goals also flowed for Spain, getting eight in 12 games as she became the first women to win 100 caps for her nation. She became the first player to claim the award two years running and joined Pernille Harder as a multiple winner.

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