Event: Women's Football
Olympic History: Rio 2016
Year Born: 1993
State Born: WA
Already lauded as one of the greatest footballers of current time, Sam Kerr’s list of accolades is extensive.
The all-time leading goal scorer across both the Australian W-League and American NSWL and the only Australian footballer, male or female to make the Ballon D’or shortlist almost wasn’t a footballer at all.
The Rio 2016 Olympian’s footballing journey started in East Fremantle, Perth, although it was the oval ball, not the round ball that initially had her attention.
Kerr followed in the footsteps of her father, Roger, and her brother, Daniel playing AFL. It wasn’t until she was 12 years-old that she was forced out of the game, due to the physicality.
The youngster was only able to play against boys with no pathways or opportunities for girls at the time, so Kerr reluctantly took up football playing for the Western Knights in Mosman Park.
It wasn’t long before those around her saw her transferrable prowess on the pitch, and at 15 years old Kerr made her W-League debut for Perth Glory in 2008.
Kerr made her senior international debut the following year and represented her country at the 2010, 2014 and 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup tournaments along with the 2011, 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cups.
Kerr also plied her trade in the US, playing in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) for Western New York Flash, Sky Blue FC and the Chicago Red Stars.
Kerr made her Olympic debut at Rio 2016, where she scored a goal in the group rounds against Germany.
Unfortunately for the Matildas, their Olympic dreams came crashing down in the quarterfinals against hosts, Brazil and after a tense 120 minutes of football, neither team could find the back of the net, and the match went to penalties.
Australia looked to have the upper hand when Brazil missed the first penalty, but in front of 60,000 locals, the home side claimed the win 7-6, progressing to the final four.
Kerr became known for her athleticism, leadership as well as her goal celebrating backflips.
Her hard work and determination culminated in her being named captain of the Matildas in 2019.
In the 2018-19 W-League season, Kerr became Australia’s first female football marquee signing with Perth Glory.
She finished the season as leading goal-scorer with 17 goals, equating to an average of more than one goal per game and leading her team to the W-League Grand Final against Sydney FC.
She led the Matildas through the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup where she became the first Australian, male or female to score a hat trick at a World Cup where the Matildas met an untimely exit in a loss against Norway in the Round of 16.
A 1-1 draw couldn’t separate the teams, so it went to penalties. The Aussie side were unable to convert their chances, going down to Norway 1-1 (4-1) on penalties.
The Matildas heartbreaking loss didn’t deter international teams, who were all vying for Kerr’s unique brand of football to bolster their squads.
In November of 2019, Kerr became the highest-paid Australian women’s footballer when she signed a two million dollar, two and a half-year deal with FA Women’s Super League juggernauts, Chelsea FC.
The two time Ballon D'or nominee's awards include being named number one in the Top 100 Best Female Footballers in the World by The Guardian, W-League Players Player of the Year and Julie Dolan Medals.
Outside of this, she also claimed the PFA Women’s Footballer of the Year four times, International Player of the Year, ESPY Best International Women’s Soccer Player and Young Australian of the Year.
Kerr and the Matildas will contest the Asian Cup in February of 2019, which also doubles as their Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers.