Asif Burhan talks to FIFA Player of the Year Carli Lloyd
Kick It Out resident blogger Asif Burhan was in attendance at the inaugural ‘The Best’ FIFA Football Awards, hosted in Zurich, Switzerland on Monday 9 January.
Among many others, Asif spoke to Carli Lloyd, two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion with the United States of America, as well as the winner of the Player of the Year award for the second year running.
Carli, are you surprised to have been chosen as the best player in the world for the second year running?
“From a personal standpoint, I’m not necessarily surprised. Given that Germany won the 2016 Olympics and Melanie (Behringer) had a fantastic year and a fantastic career, (she was) top goalscorer, I mean you just don’t know so while I wanted to win and while I think that I’ve worked extremely hard to get to this point, it does take a team to help push on with these awards.
“I guess that’s why I was a little taken aback and wasn’t sure, so I’m incredibly honoured. Like I say, this award isn’t going to stop me. I’m going to keep continuing to work hard. This year, I’m going to be better than I was in 2016 and I want to keep involved with my game and helping my team-mates.”
And in your acceptance speech, with US Soccer you seemed to take a diplomatic approach?
“No, it’s genuinely sincere. They support us. I know with the restructuring of FIFA there are changes that have been made and it’s good to see. Today, for example, the Legends game, having some females out there playing, it’s great to see. With US Soccer they obviously give us the foundation, they support us. We are very lucky, so yeah, I’m genuinely thankful for them. We just want to make it fair, and make it better for future generations to come.”
What’s your assessment of the dialogue with US Soccer at the moment? Where does the dialogue stand?
“We’re going into camp soon in a few days. We obviously don’t have a new deal done at the moment. We’re not going on strike. There’s obviously talks with the Federation and you know in February, March when we finally get a deal, it’s great. There’s no really pressing moment to get a deal done. We just want to get a fair deal, and get what we deserve.”
You were in England recently watching a couple of games. With Crystal Dunn and Alex Morgan moving to Europe, is that something you would want to do in future?
“Yeah, I’m not opposed to it. Obviously the NWSL is a great league. I’m really thankful and I’m gracious to be in Houston playing for my team. That’s not to say in four years if I have an opportunity to go somewhere else and maybe gain a different experience, I may do that. I want to keep continuing to support the league and helping the league. It’s fantastic that those two players are going and experiencing something different. I wish them all the best and I know it will be great for everybody.”
What are your thoughts on the players coming through to your club and are you excited to team up with them?
“Yeah, I’m super-thrilled, I think we made some great signings in the off season, I’m excited. I’m looking forward to getting back and playing. It’s fantastic and it’s good to see. It kind of brings more strength to the league.”