(Reuters) – Megan Rapinoe and Julie Ertz, key members of the United States’ World Cup-winning side, were named among the five nominees for the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year award on Wednesday.
The American duo were joined by England defender Lucy Bronze, Dutch forward Vivianne Miedema and Australia’s Sam Kerr.
Rapinoe collected the Golden Boot and Golden Ball from the 2019 World Cup as the joint-top scorer and best player at the tournament in France.
The midfielder, who won the Ballon d’Or award as the world’s top female player in December, is also a prominent supporter of LGBT rights and equal pay having been part of the team that sued U.S. soccer last year over gender discrimination.
“It’s pretty cool, it’s really special,” Rapinoe said in a statement.
“I feel like in so many ways I’m representing what the whole team is standing for, every team in the World Cup it felt like we were all on the same team fighting for something bigger.”
Ertz’s influential displays in a holding midfield role in France saw her voted U.S. Soccer’s Female Athlete of the Year for 2019.
Defender Bronze, who won the BBC award in 2018, helped England to the World Cup semi-finals and won the Champions League with Olympique Lyonnais.
New Chelsea recruit Kerr became the first Australian to score a hat-trick in a senior World Cup, while Miedema finished top scorer to help Arsenal claim the FA Women’s Super League title last season.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford