Matildas star Sam Kerr has picked up two gongs at the 2019 ESPY Awards in the United States, including the award for best international footballer.
- Sam Kerr picks up NWSL’s best player award, as well as best international female footballer at the ESPYs
- Kerr stands alongside Lionel Messi (best male international footballer) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (best MLS player) in this year’s awards
- Megan Rapinoe accepts award for best team on behalf of US Women’s National Team
It is the second-straight year Kerr has been named best international female player.
She pipped Ada Hegerberg (Norway), Lucy Bronze (England) and Pernille Harder (Denmark) for the award.
Kerr also took out the award for best player in America’s National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).
She clinched the golden boot for two seasons running with the Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL, breaking the competition’s all-time goalscoring record in the process.
Kerr again leads the golden boot race in the NWSL with nine goals scored so far.
The ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) Awards recognise individual and team sporting achievement, as well as other sports-related performances, in the calendar year preceding the ceremony.
Lionel Messi was named the best male international footballer, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic picked up best Major League Soccer player.
Following their Women’s World Cup triumph, the US Women’s National Team picked up the ESPY Award for best team, with star midfielder Megan Rapinoe accepting on behalf of her fellow players.
Rapinoe has a message for America
Rapinoe found herself in the limelight throughout the World Cup, both for her goals but also for saying her team would reject the chance of going to President Donald Trump’s White House were they to win the tournament.
It prompted a rebuke from Mr Trump, who said she should not disrespect the country, the White House, or America’s flag.
Her appearance at the ESPY Awards followed a whirlwind week after winning the World Cup, in which she stared down the barrel of the camera during a CNN interview to tell Mr Trump he needed “to do better for everyone”.
“Your message is excluding people. You’re excluding me, you’re excluding people that look like me, you’re excluding people of colour, you’re excluding Americans that maybe support you,” she said, when asked what her message might be to the President.
“You have an incredible responsibility as the chief of this country to take care of every single person … and you need to do better for everyone.”
During the team’s tickertape parade in New York — where the national team was presented a key to the city — she called on Americans to “love more, hate less”.
“This is my charge to everyone, we have to be better. We have to love more, hate less. We got to listen more and talk less,” Rapinoe said.
“We got to know that this is everybody’s responsibility, every single person here, every single person who is not here, every single person who doesn’t want to be here, every single person who agrees and doesn’t agree. It’s our responsibility to make this world a better place.”
Rapinoe lauded her teammates who had been accused of arrogance during the World Cup.
She also, perhaps facetiously, ruled out a run for the presidency.
“This group is so resilient, is so tough, has such a sense of humour,” she said.
“It’s just so badass. There’s nothing that can faze this group. We’re chilling. We got tea-sippin’, we got celebrations. We have pink hair and purple hair, we have tattoos and dreadlocks.
“We got white girls and black girls and everything in between. Straight girls and gay girls.
“I couldn’t be more proud to be a co-captain with Carli [Lloyd] and Alex [Morgan] of this team. It’s my absolute honour to lead this team out on the field.
“There’s no other place that I would rather be, even in the presidential race. I’m busy, I’m sorry.”