Hedvig Lindahl was our first-choice goalkeeper throughout 2017/18 and showed her class both domestically and on the European stage with a number of impressive performances.
Lindahl joined the Blues from Swedish side Kristianstads DFF in December 2014 and shone in her first season under Emma Hayes as we won the League and the Cup.
Lindahl likes to dominate her area and is also a fine shot-stopper. An ever-present in the Women’s Super League in 2015, she conceded the fewest amount of goals in the division.
Although the 2016 season could not match her maiden campaign at the club in terms of silverware, Lindahl enjoyed success on a personal level. As well as a nomination for PFA Women’s Player of the Year and earning a spot in the WSL1 Team of the Year, she was honoured in her homeland with three awards: Goalkeeper of the Year, the women’s Diamond Ball award, which is given to the best Swedish player over the course of the year and which she also won in 2015, and an award given to a sporting mother who has performed well.
Lindahl has been named Swedish Women’s Goalkeeper of the Year on seven separate occasions and has amassed more than 100 international caps during a career that has included appearances for her country at three World Cups, three Olympic Games and multiple European Championships.
Lindahl was an ever-present for Sweden at the 2015 World Cup, but two draws and a loss in their opening three matches resulted in elimination at the group stage in Canada.
She was Sweden's first-choice goalkeeper at the Rio Olympics in 2016 as they overcame the odds to secure a silver medal, thanks in no small part to the heroics of Lindahl in both the quarter-final and semi-final when she made penalty shoot-out saves.
In the final against Germany, Sweden were beaten 2-1 but the tournament as a whole is one Lindahl will look back on with much fondness.
After injury ruled her out of all but the opening two fixtures of Chelsea's shortened campaign in the Spring of 2017, Lindahl recovered in time for Sweden’s European Championship campaign in the summer and helped them reach the quarter-finals.
Lindahl's quality was evident on many occasions throughout the Double-winning 2017/18 season, but never more so than in the first leg of our dramatic Champions League win over Bayern Munich, when her heroics preserved the one-goal lead given to us by Drew Spence. That clean sheet proved priceless when we required the away-goals rule to progress.
In all she kept out the opposition 12 times in her 23 appearances across the course of the season and it came as no surprise when she earned selection in the FIFPro Women’s World XI for the first time, effectively making her the best goalkeeper in the world as voted for by her peers.
Lindahl also became the most capped goalkeeper in the history of the Swedish national team with 144, surpassing the great Thomas Ravelli.