“Celia is one of the best strikers around and incredibly dangerous in front of goal; she’s been top scorer in numerous competitions,” last year’s winner said. “She’s incredibly passionate and a great role model out on the pitch.”
What excites Kessler is the fact that all three nominees are exceptional players with very different individual strengths: “Aya Miyama is a diminutive, lively player with exceptional technical skills. She can control and read a game and set its tempo.
"Carli Lloyd was incredible at the Women’s World Cup,” she continued. “Although she’s quite a calm person on the surface, once she’s out on the pitch she makes plenty of moves and carries the team along with her. She steered USA to the title with both her individual ability and own particular leadership style.”
While Kessler is understandably hopeful that her compatriot will take home the award, “it’s a simple fact that if you’re captain of the world champions, perform fantastically at the tournament and score amazing goals, then for me Lloyd is favourite for the title and would be a deserving winner.”
“The Japanese team have been through a big period of change, so it’s crazy to see how far their coach keeps taking them,” said Kessler. “Sampson has given England a completely new look and a fresh presence. They’re dynamic and aggressive like you expect from the English but he has also made sure to give his team a great technical and tactical grounding.
"Ellis’s situation is similar to Lloyd’s," she concluded. "She was under immense pressure before the Women’s World Cup to create the right balance and generate team spirit among their individuals, which is what made the Americans so strong during the tournament. She got the very best out of each and every player.”
Watch the video to see the entire interview with reigning FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Nadine Kessler!