Today marks just 50 days until our Chelsea Women representatives take to the global stage and compete at the Women’s World Cup in France. As part of the build-up, we look here at the World Cup pasts of current Blues squad members…
The tournament kicks off in Paris and is set to be the biggest female sporting event in the world ever due to the surge in popularity in women’s football over the recent years. The eighth edition of the Women’s World Cup will take place from 7 June to 7 July and out of the 24 national teams competing, six of them include Chelsea Women players.
England secured the bronze medal at Canada in 2015 and more recently lifted the SheBelieves Cup, an invitational friendly tournament hosted by the USA. Therefore, the Lionesses are now ranked third in the world by FIFA and are among the favourites to win the prestigious cup. Karen Carney, Fran Kirby, Millie Bright and Carly Telford are due to be selected in Phil Neville’s 23-player squad this summer.
Carney made her World Cup debut at the 2007 edition held in China when she was listed in the starting XI against Japan. Kirby first graced the World Cup stage in Canada when she came off the bench on the 68th minute against this year’s tournament hosts. Although Bright is a key member of the Lionesses backline, this summer will be her first World Cup, whilst Telford has been a part of England’s 2007 and 2015 tournament squads.
Erin Cuthbert will play for Scotland after they made history by qualifying automatically for their first World Cup. They secured a place in dramatic fashion on the final day of qualifications which meant that Ramona Bachmann and her Switzerland side missed out after finishing second place in their group. Shelley Kerr’s Scot side have a challenging opening fixture as they will go head-to-head against the Lionesses on Sunday 9 June at the Stade de Nice, which is situated on the south-east coast.
Our Swedish defensive trio, Hedvig Lindahl, Jonna Andersson and Magdalena Eriksson have qualified for the finals with their nation after gaining maximum points in their group. Lindahl made her tournament debut in 2007, which means that this will be the fourth international competition that she has been a part of. Andersson and Eriksson will both be hoping to make their World Cup debut on Tuesday 11 June when Sweden face Chile.
Maren Mjelde, who is a regular for Norway will be participating in her third World Cup finals, with this summer being Maria Thorisdottir’s second tournament. In their final group fixture, they will be coming up against Korea Republic and our no.10 Ji So-Yun, who is also set to compete in her second consecutive World Cup.
Blues full-back Ali Riley, who is also the captain of New Zealand, began her international career in 2007 and already has three World Cups under her belt and is set to make it four.
Current Blues midfielder Anita Asante has been to three World Cups and our club ambassador Katie Chapman made her debut in 2007, and like Asante has represented England in three previous tournaments.