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FA Cup final: Goals, celebrations & icons – Kerr v Miedema


Vivianne Miedema and Sam err battle for the ball
Vivianne Miedema and Sam Kerr have led the WSL’s scoring charts
Date: Sunday, 5 December Venue: Wembley Stadium
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, iPlayer and BBC Sport website from 13:30 GMT

Two of the game’s biggest stars will go head-to-head at Wembley this weekend when the Women’s Super League’s goalscoring machines – Chelsea’s Sam Kerr and Vivianne Miedema of Arsenal – meet in a mouth-watering FA Cup final clash.

With the clubs also locked in a tight battle at the top of the WSL, the form of their star strikers looks set to define this season. Here is what makes the pair so iconic.

Goals…

Both players have goal records in abundance.

After seven seasons in the National Women’s Soccer League’s, Kerr, 28, departed the United States as the league’s all-time top scorer with 77 goals.

Among her other personal accolades she claimed three consecutive golden boots and the title for most goals in a single season after scoring 18 for the Chicago Red Stars in 2019.

On the international front, an impressive Tokyo 2020 Olympics campaign saw the Australia captain become the Matildas’ all-time leading scorer with her 48th international goal.

Her feats have continued in the WSL. Since joining Chelsea in November 2019, she has found the net 31 times in 34 games, including three hat-tricks.

Sam Kerr
Sam Kerr is the first player to win the golden boot across three different continents having claimed the equivalent awards in England, the United States and Australia.

The reigning WSL golden boot winner can count her Chelsea boss Emma Hayes among her many fans.

“Her goalscoring record is nothing short of remarkable, but then you look at her assists column, which shows the selfless behaviour,” said Hayes.

“She wants to score goals, of course, but she is all about the team. She is the ultimate team player.”

Breaking records in the WSL could prove harder because of the impact of Miedema, 25, who hasn’t stopped scoring for Arsenal since she danced her way through Everton’s defence to open her account in October 2017.

Her impressive hoard has seen her become the WSL’s all-time leading scorer with 66 goals in 75 games. In September she reached another milestone, her 100th Arsenal goal, taking just 110 games to do so.

Former Arsenal midfielder Katie Chapman told BBC Sport: “Sometimes she will look disinterested, but will then pop up in the right place. She also has great feel – sometimes it looks like the ball sticks to her feet.”

The former Bayern Munich player also tops the charts for the Netherlands – across both the women’s and men’s teams – with 83 goals in 103 international matches.

She puts her success down to her instinct, telling the Arsenal website: “I’m never going to be someone who’s the fastest or who picks up the ball and dribbles past everyone from midfield. All my positioning comes from me reading and seeing the game properly.”

Celebrations…

Their goals stats may be equally as impressive but they certainly have different approaches to how to celebrate.

Kerr has developed a trademark backflip that she likes to pull out for special occasions – such as the goal which gave her a hat-trick against Birmingham last month.

She told Fifa: “It is kind of a spur-of-the-moment thing. When it is a big match, or a big goal, it seems to happen. People always ask me when I’m going to do it and I never know. It is just pure emotion.”

She also likes to mix it up a bit. At the 2019 World Cup she paid tribute to her footballing hero, fellow Australian Tim Cahill, by imitating his boxing the flag celebration.

Gunners fans, however, are lucky if they see Miedema clench her fist in celebration.

The reserved Dutch international says there isn’t one particular reason for her muted celebrations. “I would just say that I celebrate more if someone else scores.

“Maybe it’s about showing respect to the opposition. Maybe it’s because I’m an easy-going, normal person.”

Vivanne Miedema
One of Vivianne Miedema’s more extravagant celebrations

Icons off the pitch…

Both players have years left in their careers, but their standing in the game has given them a platform which they have used to advocate for social change.

Kerr has spoken openly about being gay and has shut down social media trolls who have targeted abuse at her in the past, as well as backing the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

She was part of the Matildas group who boycotted a tour to the US in 2015, going on strike over their pay and conditions. Four years later they secured a landmark equal pay deal.

She told the Australia Associated Press: “I want to have a legacy, that people talk about this time in football that we, as the Matildas, and me, as a player, changed the way the Matildas are seen and the way that women’s football is seen and the way women’s sport is seen.”

Sam Kerr of Chelsea poses for a selfie with fans
Both players have become role models for young fans

Miedema has also used her profile to give a voice to important issues. In 2021 she and her partner and fellow player, Lisa Evans, joined the Common Goal movement which sees football stars pledge 1% of their salary to organisations that help young people in violent environments.

The Arsenal star said: “It’s not a lot of money but it’s one of those things that if we all stick together and get others on board it can make a massive difference.”

The Dutchwoman, who has given support to BLM and the charity War Child, has also spoken about the importance of having more LGBT+ allies in football, saying having an out gay or bisexual male footballer in the professional game would help others.

“If someone was to come out and that player is fully respected, from there on it would be easy for a lot of other boys to come out as well,” she added.





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