Football Danish striker Chelsea, who plays in the English Women’s Super League Pernille Harder has had a lot to achieve, but really big gains are still missing.
The European Football Association (Uefa) selected Harder as the best women’s soccer player last season. Also Guardian raised Harder to number one in 2020 in its traditional list of one hundred footballers.
Last fall, she became a player whose transfer to another club has cost more than any other woman playing football: about € 340,000. Harder moved from Wolfsburg, Germany, to Chelsea last September.
“My only requirement for the transfer was that the team also has Champions League goals,” Harder said after his transfer.
“In my small town, women’s soccer was the only sport that wasn’t really there.”
Just before the transfer, Wolfsburg had lost the Champions League final to Lyon of France. The teams also faced in the 2018 final, and the winner was Lyon even then.
Now Harder has another chance to raise the Champions League trophy as Chelsea survived the semi-finals last week by dropping Atlético Madrid. In addition, Chelsea will lead the English Super League and play in the league cup final on Sunday.
One more stinging loss can be added to the list: in 2017, Denmark made it to the European Championship finals. The Netherlands won the final 4-2 in their home competition.
Harder, 28, is perhaps (and hopefully) the last generation to have to fight for football because of their gender.
“In my small town [Ikast] women’s soccer was the only sport that wasn’t really there. There was a team of girls, but it was just for fun. There came a feeling that women’s football was not important. I had to struggle to practice with the boys because the other option was to move elsewhere, ”Harder says. In the Guardian.
Harder transferred to FC Midtjylland Academy at the age of 10 along with his sister Louisen with. There, too, they were the only girls. Harder still believes that girls have less access to proper coaching than boys.
“The difference is visible at an early age, when boys have a great opportunity to get into club academies and the best coaching. Girls do not have this opportunity. They are often coached by their parents. ”
Harder would like to establish a football academy in Ikast, but here too there will be a difference between male and female football stars. For a male star player, funding the Academy would not be very difficult financially.
“If I had the money to start one, I would definitely do it. I want to invest in speeding up the clubs [akatemia]opportunities for girls, ”Harder notes.
Harder has strongly defended the position of women on the Danish national team. He was one of the most prominent figures when the Danish national team went on strike in the fall of 2017 because the rewards they received were lower than on the men’s national team.
The dispute had a tough sports price: due to the strike, Denmark missed the World Cup qualifier against Sweden and possibly took a place in the summer 2019 World Cup.
“The consequences were severe, but in the end it was worth it,” Harder says.
“We are role models individually, but also together.”
Harder is also a role model for Sexual Minorities, as he has been dating a Swede Magdalena Eriksson with soon ten years. They met when they were teammates in Lindköping in the early 2010s and have never hidden their relationship. Eriksson also plays for Chelsea and is the team captain.
“We are role models individually, but also together. We have been open. I didn’t realize until the photo came out how great a source of inspiration we are to many people, ”Harder says. Uefa’s website.
The photo mentioned by Harder was taken in 2019 after Sweden had won the Canadian Football World Cup. In the picture, Eriksson and Harder kiss after the match.
“It was crazy. The picture was tweeted around the world, ”Harder said at the time.
Perhaps next, Harder rises to the headlines with his football success. At Chelsea, the early season wasn’t going very well for Harder yet, but now he’s in a strong mood.
In the English Super League, Harder has scored seven goals and is valued, for example The Athletic already raises him as the best player in the series.
English Women’s League Cup final in Bristol City-Chelsea on Sunday at 4.30pm.
■ A 28-year-old Danish footballer, a striker from the pitch.
■ Transferred last September with a transfer amount of approximately EUR 340,000 from Wolfsburg to Chelsea.
■ Has won, among other things, the Swedish championship in Linköping and four times the German Women’s Bundesliga in Wolfsburg.
■ Elected Uefa Female Footballer of the Year twice, in 2018 and 2020.
■ In addition, she was selected as the German female player of the year in 2020 and the most important player in the Swedish women’s main series in 2015 and 2016, among others.
■ Scored 168 goals in 205 matches in the club teams and 64 goals in the Danish national team in 123 matches.
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