Australia’s Sam Kerr insists she wasn’t too downcast by her recent World XI snub, saying her main focus is to make sure the Matildas become an international powerhouse.
Kerr was a surprise omission when the 2017 FIFPro World XI squad was named earlier this month.
Only two Australians made the initial 55-player shortlist — Kerr and defender Alanna Kennedy.
But neither made the final cut, with Kerr’s omission raising eyebrows all over the world.
The team was voted on by more than 4,100 female players from 45 countries.
Kerr produced a remarkable 2017 at both domestic and international level, with her hot form even catapulting her into the running for 2017 FIFA Player of the Year.
Australian players were left stunned when Kerr didn’t make the final three for that award.
And her omission from the World XI squad was also criticised, with teammate Lisa De Vanna labelling it a joke.
However, Kerr has taken the omission in her stride, saying the Matildas need to make a name for themselves on an international stage before the individual awards will start flowing for Australians.
“Most of the people that play women’s football play in Europe,” Kerr said.
“So they don’t see the W-League. They don’t watch the NWSL [in America] as much. And they don’t really watch the Australian national team as much.
“So I just think it’s more of a getting out there thing. The Matildas name isn’t out there as much as the European teams.
“There could have been more Aussies in [that short list]. But it just gives us something to strive for.
“You don’t play for those kind of things, but trying to prove the world wrong that Australians can play football with the best [is what we want to do].”
Kerr is back in her hometown of Perth preparing for Monday’s friendly against Thailand at nib Stadium.
The match is being used as the final warm-up before next month’s Asian Cup in Jordan.
The tournament will also double as World Cup qualification, with the Matildas needing to finish in the top five of the eight-nation Asian Cup.
The Matildas are now ranked fourth in the world following a dream 18 months, and Kerr believes the team has a chance to medal at the 2019 World Cup.
“I think that’s been the Matildas downfall – we haven’t performed at a major tournament to the best of our abilities,” Kerr said.
“Hopefully we can win the Asian Cup, and then medal or win the World Cup.
“This is our best team yet, and this is the best chance we have. These next three years are really important for us.”