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The Best FIFA Football Awards – News – Lindahl: My crazy childhood dream has been realised

6 min read
The Best FIFA Football Awards™ - News - Lindahl: My crazy childhood dream has been realised

The Best FIFA Football Awards

Hedvig Lindahl of Sweden celebrates.

© imago photos

  • Hedvig Lindahl has at all times dreamed of changing into The Best
  • Sweden’s most-capped keeper is nominated as soon as once more within the FIFA Football Awards
  • Lindahl identifies her key attributes and the achievements she’s most pleased with

Many footballers go to nice lengths to downplay the importance of particular person awards. Not Hedvig Lindahl.

The Sweden and Atletico Madrid keeper takes satisfaction in being a crew participant, and attributes her many years of success to with the ability to kind a cohesive unit with the gamers in entrance of her. But Lindahl additionally harbours a burning and lengthy-standing need to face out and excel as a person. The ‘My Story’ part on hedviglindahl.com begins: “If anyone asked me what I wanted to become when I grew up, I would answer that I was going to become the best goalkeeper in the world. I’ve let that vision lead me in my journey throughout life.”

As such, recognition of her place among the many elite means an awesome deal. The 37-12 months-previous was thrilled in 2018 to be voted by her friends into the FIFA/FIFPro Women’s World 11 and, having been among the many three finalists for The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper awards in 2019, its inaugural 12 months, is elated to have been nominated as soon as once more.

“It really does mean a lot,” she instructed FIFA.com. “When I used to be rising up in a small village in Sweden, that dream of changing into one of the best keeper on the earth manifested itself in me. But it’s solely lately that these awards have are available in, and that’s why being named within the World XI crew – and getting nominations like this – actually does really feel like realising that crazy dream I had as a child.

“And I still have dreams, even at my age, of winning this award I’ve been nominated for. It will be tough because of all the great young keepers coming through. But I think I’ve shown that, if I keep working hard, I can compete with these youngsters and prove to be one of the best, if not the best.”

The veteran Swede is actually the oldest on the all-star listing of nominees; Ellie Roebuck, one in all her rivals for the award, was nonetheless a toddler when Lindahl travelled to the primary of her 5 FIFA Women’s World Cups. Yet there are not any indicators of her powers waning. Of all these World Cups, France 2019 was arguably Lindahl’s finest but, and he or she adopted it up at membership degree by profitable the double and reaching a UEFA Women’s Champions League remaining with Wolfsburg.

Hedvig Lindahl celebrates while with Wolfsburg.

© imago photos

“It’s been a great time for me,” she mentioned. “The World Cup was actually essential in constructing myself again up, restoring my self-perception, as a result of that had been broken just a little bit in the direction of the tip of my time at Chelsea. I wanted that have to point out everybody, even myself, that I’m nonetheless the most effective goalkeepers round.

“I was so grateful too to come straight from that World Cup into a club like Wolfsburg and one of the best dressing rooms in the world. I felt a big respect from the girls there, made lots of great friends and enjoyed some great successes too. It was also a huge learning experience for me in seeing what’s made that team so successful over so many years, and how hard-working, humble and professional they all are. For sure it’s one of the most enjoyable seasons I’ve had in my career.”

Injury and the influence of the Covid-19 restrictions have restricted Lindahl’s involvement for membership and nation over current months. But she is already loving life at Atletico and has in her sights finishing one other quintet of main worldwide tournaments. “It could be my fifth Olympics if I go to Tokyo and I don’t think anyone has ever done that before, in Sweden at least, so that’s an exciting prospect,” she defined. “As for the next World Cup (Lindahl previously told FIFA.com that France 2019 would “definitely” be her final), you by no means know.

“When I spoke to you before France, I couldn’t see myself going through all that again. It requires a lot of effort from your body and mind to take part and do well in a tournament like a World Cup and, right now, I don’t see myself being there in 2023. But if I feel valued, and feel I can still add value to the squad, then I wouldn’t completely rule it out. Never say never!”

Hedvig Lindahl the Chelsea Women's goalkeeper seen during the FA Continental Tyres Cup Semi Final between Chelsea Women and Manchester City 

© Getty Images

#TheBest: Lindahl on Lindahl

#TheBest bodily attribute I’ve

“I’ve always been very explosive. Even as a kid, I was muscly, quick, strong and powerful. That’s stayed with me throughout my career and has definitely helped me. My height is obviously a big attribute as a goalkeeper too.”

England v Sweden: 3rd Place Match - 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France

© Getty Images

#TheBest psychological attribute I’ve

“Probably stubbornness and refusing to give in. That’s a big part of my make-up and sometimes it’s challenging. I can be so stubborn in discussions and I know people down the years will have thought, ‘Shut up already!’ My brain is so active and that can be a negative because I have over-analysed in the past. But in terms of reaching my goals and overcoming obstacles – injuries, criticism, mistakes or whatever – being so headstrong, determined and goal-oriented has been a big asset. I also think that I’ve been able to use my head a little bit better in recent years, calm myself down and stop over-analysing quite as much.”

#TheBest achievement in my profession

“That’s tough because there have been one-off achievements – tournaments, prizes and so on – but there are more long-standing things that mean a lot to me too. Winning the double with Chelsea in 2015 was a proud moment as the club had never won anything before that season, and winning Olympic silver in 2016 – after beating USA in the quarter-finals – was a fantastic story. But just being picked for all those tournaments, and playing more games for Sweden than any other goalkeeper – male or female – is something I’m especially proud of because it’s an achievement that’s taken so much effort over such a long period.”

Hedvig Lindahl of Sweden saves a penalty during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Round Of 16 match between Sweden and Canada at Parc des Princes on June 24, 2019 in Paris, France.

© Getty Images

#TheBest save I’ve made

“On of my best traits as a goalkeeper is being able to organise the defence in front of me, and the idea is to keep the saves I make pretty easy! I don’t feel I’m someone who makes ‘wow’ saves a lot and, as a keeper, you really don’t want to be making too many of those. The penalty saves in big tournaments probably spring to mind. And although the one from [Janine] Beckie in France was great, the one that meant the most to me was the one against Alex Morgan in the Rio Olympics. To save from a player of her status in such a historical shootout, winning against the US and Hope Solo – who’d always been the one in the way of me getting to my goal – was a really big moment for me.”

#TheBest recommendation I might give to a younger keeper

“One of the most important things is to always find a new challenge. It’s also important that, whatever your big goals are, to be focused on the here and now – not on what’s going to happen, or what you hope will happen, tomorrow or next year. I would also advise them to ensure that they are always in a challenging environment, and to work with good goalkeeping coaches – and different coaches – because learning different styles helps so much in improving you and keeping you fresh.”

Hedvig Lindahl with the Swedish goalkeeper of the year award.

© imago photos

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