On Thursday, FIFA took a bit of time to dole out their annual FIFPro Awards. These types of awards typically provoke mild conversation and, at times, outright skepticism — call it part of the charm. In the women’s game however, sometimes it’s not as thoroughly researched as it should be. Take for instance Megan Rapinoe’s inclusion in the Women’s World XI, a selection which prompted the player herself to release a statement pointing out the flaw of her inclusion.
However, mixed in are other no-brainer solid lock selections, and two of whom, Millie Bright and Pernille Harder, happen to be donning Chelsea kits on the regular.
Let’s start with Millie Bright, who signed for Chelsea in 2015 and has worked her way into becoming one of the best central defenders in women’s football. Bright is not only a physically imposing presence, she possesses top tier acceleration that she combines with brilliant awareness and anticipation. As if that isn’t enough, Bright adds to all of that with a fantastic range of precise passing that can cover more than half the pitch — like so:
The unfairness of playing against this Chelsea lies not just in the outrageous collection of attacking talent, but that when the opponent gets the ball and looks to have a promising counterattack opportunity, Millie Bright will often read the crucial pass and intercept the ball with control. It’s rude stuff.
Pernille Harder’s selection relied more on what she’d done in a Wolfsburg shirt. In the 2019-20 Frauen Bundesliga season, Harder netted 27 goals in 21 appearances (20 starts), a tally that propelled the club to their fourth consecutive league title. She continued to tear it up in the 2019-20 Champions League, scoring 9 goals in 7 starts and leading Wolfsburg all the way to the Final.
Harder and Bright join goalkeeper Christiane Endler, defenders Lucy Bronze and Wendie Renard, midfielders Delphine Cascarino, Barbara Bonansea, Vero Boquete, and forwards Vivianne Miedema, Tobin Heath and Megan Rapinoe in FIFA’s best.
Congratulations to Millie Bright and Pernille Harder on being worthy selections to the FIFPro Women’s World XI!