Three Chelsea Women stars flew to Paris on Monday to unveil their national team’s Nike kits for the forthcoming World Cup.
England’s Fran Kirby, New Zealand’s Ali Riley and South Korea’s Ji So-Yun joined players from 14 countries as Nike assembled a gathering of more than 40 stars for the event to showcase the new kits. They will be worn at this summer’s tournament in France, which runs from 7 June until 7 July.
For the Chelsea players, it meant a rush to the airport following the morning’s session, which comes two days before they travel to face Liverpool in the WSL.
‘Fran, Ji and I sprinted for a quick shower, hopped in the car, hopped on a private jet, landed in Paris and did this awesome kit reveal with Nike,’ Kiwi captain Riley explained afterwards. ‘All the media, the lights, it was incredible. I think there’s so many people excited about the World Cup in France which is really cool to be a part of.’
For Kirby, it was a huge honour to be part of such a huge event, which was also attended by supermodel Naomi Campbell.
‘Coming to Paris is an amazing thing to be able to do, to be part of something so big for women’s sport in general,’ she said. ‘It shows how much interest there is and Nike have invested a lot - everyone wearing one of these kits in this room is grateful for it.
‘Our kit, it’s white, it’s England, and it’s so special. It’s designed just for us women, both kits, home and away, are really nice. We’ve known about them for a long time now and it’s great to be able to show the world.’
Kirby last week helped England lift the SheBelieves Cup in America, featuring alongside goalscorer Karen Carney and goalkeeper Carly Telford.
‘It's a massive step for us,’ she said. ‘We’re probably not quite there yet as being one of the top, top teams in the world, but this is a really good start and we’re only going to build and improve as a team. It was a good learning curve and an impressive win as well.
To represent your country is one of the greatest honours you can ever achieve as a footballer, to be able to wear the shirt is so special and an experience you will never forget.’
You can see more from the event on Chelsea Women's Instagram story!
Nike has worked for the past three years on focusing attention on how best to fit the female form for football, consulting with players from all over the world to find out what they were looking for.
Additionally, all Nike football kits are made from recycled bottles - their products have diverted more than six billion bottles from landfill since 2010.