Eurosport Star of the Year: Best in the world, but Pernille Harder can get even better
Chelsea striker Pernille Harder has two UEFA Player of the Year awards - the first woman to win more than once. She also has multiple golden boots, league championship medals, and cup trophies, and she wants to win more. That should scare the rest of the Women's Super League teams - and international sides across Europe.
Pernille Harder celebrates her goal for Chelsea against Bristol City
Published 15/12/2020 at 01:01 GMT | Updated 15/12/2020 at 08:35 GMT
Pernille Harder is used to collecting trophies - and breaking records.
The first woman to have won the UEFA Player of the Year award twice, the forward has had an eventful year - in which she began a new phase of her career, moving to FA WSL champions Chelsea in the summer for what is believed to be a record transfer fee in women's football.
Chelsea manager Emma Hayes told the club website at the time: "Pernille is one of the best players in the world.
That domestic track record Hayes is talking about includes four consecutive German league and cup doubles with Wolfsburg, plus two golden boots.
Pernille Harder with her UEFA Player of the Year and Forward of the Year trophies
Image credit: Getty Images
And internationally she was a major part of the Danes' run to the final of Women's Euro 2017, averaging around a goal every other game for the national side - and, of course, she has those two continent-wide Player of the Year trophies on her mantelpiece too.
"It’s one of those individual awards you dream of, and now I actually get my second," she said when she won in October 2020. "This award was a dream when I was little.
"I think I will understand how big this award is when I stop playing. My goals for next season and the season after will be the same – winning it again. All the hard work I put in, all the sacrifices – I’m super proud."
'A good step for women's football' - Chelsea's Harder on her transfer fee
And she could get even better.
"She is a fantastic team player who wants to take her game to the next level," said Hayes in the summer.
Her commitment to the team is also something praised by her club captain Magda Eriksson - who also happens to be Harder's partner.
"Being the best footballer in the world is a subjective opinion and it's something that you build," Eriksson told the BBC. "For me there is no doubt in my mind that she is one of the best in the world.
"The biggest thing for me is her mentality - to always want to be the best in everything she does. Those are the types of characters that I want on my team. I would always pick those."
And Harder agrees - which is a touch ominous for the rest of the world.
"Being the best in the world is something you have to earn over time. It is not just for one season," she said. "I am working on that."
Though the Lyon quartet of Lucy Bronze, Wendie Renard, Eugenie Le Sommer and Amandine Henry excelled this year, they were brilliant in an all-round team of stars, the most dominant team in Europe. It is perhaps easier to shine in a team that is winning every week and expects to sweep the board at the end of the season.
'Chelsea's ambitions very good' - Harder on why she decided to move to Chelsea
Harder, however, was undoubtedly the catalyst for Wolfsburg's success as they look to secure a resurgence to the very top of the game again. Much like the second-placed Vivianne Miedema, she was the one who caught the eye from her side, and drove them on to greater things.