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The Best FIFA Football Awards


Hedvig Lindahl of Sweden celebrates.
© imago images

  • Hedvig Lindahl always dreamed of becoming The Best
  • Sweden’s most capped goalkeeper nominated again at FIFA Football Awards
  • She presents her main assets and the accomplishments of which she is most proud

Many footballers go to great lengths to downplay the importance of individual rewards. Not Hedvig Lindahl. The goalkeeper of the Sweden and Atlético Madrid team is certainly proud to be part of her team and does not hesitate to put her longevity at the highest level on the account of her good understanding with the players who evolve in front of her . But Lindahl has a long-standing desire to excel on an individual level. On its website, hedviglindahl.com, the ‘My Story’ section reads: “If someone asked me what I wanted to do as a kid, I would say I was going to be the best goalie in the world. I let that vision guide me. in my life.”

Thus, the recognition of his achievement at the highest level is very important to him. In 2018, the 37-year-old was delighted to have been elected by her colleagues to the Women’s FIFA / FIFPro World11. And after being one of the three finalists for The Best – FIFA Goalkeeper in 2019, the very first year of the award, she is delighted to have been nominated again this year.

“It means a lot to me”, she tells FIFA.com. “During my childhood in a small Swedish village, the dream of becoming the best babysitter in the world was manifested at home. But it was not until today that these individual awards arrived. My nomination to the World11 team – and other nominations like this – so makes me feel like I’m fulfilling that crazy dream I had as a kid. Even at my age, I still dream of winning the award for which I was nominated. It will be hard because there are some great young goalies also nominated. But I have proven that by continuing to work hard, I can compete with these young people and show that I am one of the best , if not the best. “

The experienced Swede is indeed the oldest among the nominees. One of her competitors, Ellie Roebuck, was just a baby when Lindahl competed in the first of her five FIFA Women’s World Cups. However, she still shows no signs of weakness. Among all these editions of the World Cup, France 2019 was undoubtedly the most beautiful of Lindahl. Afterwards, back from France, she won the league double with Wolfsburg and reached the final of the UEFA Champions League.


Hedvig Lindahl celebrates while with Wolfsburg.
© imago images

“I just had a wonderful few months,” she says. “The World Cup allowed me to rebuild myself, to regain the confidence that had been slightly toothless towards the end of my time at Chelsea. I needed this experience to prove to everyone, and to myself , that I am still one of the best goalkeepers in the world. I am happy, just after the World Cup, to have been able to join a club like Wolfsburg, one of the best teams in the world. This experience was an excellent learning since I could understand what made the success of this team for so many years, and I could see how hard they work, their humility and their professionalism. “

Recently, by contrast, injuries and restrictions related to COVID-19 have limited Lindahl’s appearances at club and with his country. But she is loving her new life at Atlético and is eager to participate in another major international tournament five times. “If I go to Tokyo, it will be my fifth edition of the Olympics and I think no one has done it before. At least not in Sweden. So that would be great,” she rejoiced in advance. “As for the next World Cup (Lindahl had told FIFA.com that France 2019 “would be the last”), you never know. “

“When we spoke before the edition in France, I couldn’t see myself reliving all that,” she says. “Going to a tournament like the World Cup and having a good course takes a lot of effort from your body and your mind and right now I don’t see myself going in 2023. But if I do. feel appreciated and if I feel like I can bring something to the band then I can’t rule out going. 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 sur Lindahl

Its greatest physical asset
“I’ve always been very explosive. Even when I was little I was muscular, fast, strong and powerful. It stuck throughout my career and it’s been a big help. My height is a good asset for a babysitter as well. “


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

His greatest mental asset
I would say being stubborn and never giving up. It’s really me and sometimes that is a problem. I can be very stubborn in some conversations and sometimes I know some people must have been like “But she can’t shut up, this one?” My brain is going a mile an hour and it can be negative because I have a tendency to over-analyze certain things. In contrast, in order to be able to achieve my goals and overcome hardships – injuries, criticisms, mistakes or whatever – being stubborn, determined and focused has been a huge plus. I also think that I have been able to use my head a little better in recent years, I know how to calm down and not over-analyze as much as I used to. “

The greatest achievement of his career
It’s difficult because I’ve had some one-off successes – tournaments, prizes, etc. – but lasting rewards are the things that matter most to me. I was proud to make the double with Chelsea in 2015 because the club had never won anything before that season. And the Olympic silver medal in 2016 – after a victory over the United States in the quarterfinals – was absolutely brilliant. But to be selected for these tournaments and play more matches for Sweden than any other goalkeeper, men and women alike, is something that I am extremely proud of because it took so much effort on 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

His best stop
One of my main qualities as a goalkeeper is being able to organize my defense so the idea is to make my saves as easy as possible! I don’t feel like I’m someone who performs spectacular parries and in fact, as a goalie you don’t really want to do a lot of like that. Penalty saves in major tournaments come to mind. Even if the one facing [Janine] Beckie in France was great, the one that meant the most to me was the one against Alex Morgan at the Rio Olympics. Pushing back the penalty for a player of this stature in such a historic penalty shootout and winning against the United States and Hope Solo – who has always been the one that kept me from reaching my goal – is an unforgettable moment. for me.”

The best advice for a young babysitter
One of the most important things is to always find new challenges to overcome. It’s also important to stay focused on the present moment, whatever your goals are, and not on what might happen or what you hope will happen tomorrow or next year. I would advise them to always make sure they are in a nurturing environment and work with good goalie coaches – and different coaches – because you can really improve yourself and have new ideas around people of different styles. “


Hedvig Lindahl with the Swedish goalkeeper of the year award.
© imago images

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