30 November 2020

Female footballers can be idols just like Ronaldo and Messi, says Chelsea’s Pernille Harder

Chelsea forward Pernille Harder has urged female players to rival the Ronaldos and Messis of the world as idols for young girls.

"When I was young there were not that many women's players for me to see on the platforms or see games on TV. Most of my idols were actually men's players," she said.

"Marta de Silva was one player that I looked up to and was my big idol. I watched YouTube clips of her, so she was my inspiration.
"There was not that much [TV coverage]. I don't remember seeing many women's football games on television when I was a kid.
"In the last five years, I feel like it's really been growing a lot and many games are now on television.
"Many of our games here in England can be watched in Denmark. I find it really good.
"So many young girls can watch us play and now we can be their idols instead of [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo."

Harder was speaking at the World Football Summit 2020 where she was named the first ever Best Female Player, having netted 38 times for Wolfsburg last season.

She left the German champions to join Chelsea in September for a women’s world record fee of around £250,000 and has scored three goals in six games.

Harder has hit the ground running for Chelsea since joining the Women’s Super League champions nearly three months ago


She twice made the Champions League final with Wolfsburg in 2018 and 2020 but lost on both occasions to Lyon.

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes has made it clear a first European crown is one of their main objectives this season as the London side also look to defend their Women’s Super League title.

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