2015 will go down in history for Carli Lloyd. The midfielder became the first player to score a hattrick in the final of a FIFA Women’s World Cup, as the United States defeated Japan 5-2 victory over Japan to win a record third World Cup.
For her performance, Lloyd received the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament, the Silver Boot for her six goals and was awarded the Ballon d’Or for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year.
Now Lloyd is in line to add another trophy to her bulging cabinet with the 33 year old a nominee for the 2016 Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award.
Did you realise you were making football history when you scored the third goal in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final?
Carli Lloyd: No, I was just having fun playing and enjoying the moment. I had no idea what was to come of all of this. When I finished the game I realised that we had just done something so amazing and that this could be huge.
Was this the highlight of your career?
Winning the 2015 World Cup and being named FIFA World Player of the Year. Yes.
Which would you pick as the best of the three goals?
They were all special. Each goal had its own importance, but I would go with the third one from midfield because that doesn’t happen very often.
What were the emotions for the team after the final when you had won?
Pure joy and excitement. We have been waiting for this moment for many years and it was a dream come true.
How did you enjoy the ticker-tape parade in New York and meeting President Obama?
The ticker tape parade was absolutely amazing. I never imagined something that big. It was an honour to meet President Obama and get time to speak with him.
What does being nominated for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award mean to you?
I am honoured to be nominated for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year.
This is special to be amongst so many other great sportswomen.
To be recognised by the world’s media says a lot about what my team and I accomplished.
You are up against some other great athletes – Serena Williams, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Katie Ledecky for example. What can you say about them?
They are amazing athletes and people and it is an honour to be alongside of them with this Nomination.
How good would it be to win a Laureus Award?
This wouldn’t just be another award to add to my resumé. It would be amazing to win it.
You must be delighted that the US team has been nominated for the Laureus World Team of the Year Award?
For a soccer player it doesn’t come bigger than the World Cup. It’s been a great competition for me over the years, and to score a hat-trick in the final was a dream come true and a career high. It was awesome for me, but great for the team as well.
I got a lot of the headlines, but we just had a wonderful group of players throughout the tournament. So I am delighted that the world’s media have nominated both me and the US for the Laureus Team Award. It’s a big honour.
What's next for women’s football as a sport in the United States?
Football is growing more and more in the United States.
We are seeing such a transformation and fan base that continues to increase each and every year. We want to continue to make our families and fans proud.
What are your future plans?
I am not stopping. I still have plans to play past Rio 2016 and finish in 2020. I want to continue to improve and become a better player. I need to work exceptionally hard the next four years to continue to do that.
Carli Lloyd in conversation with Laureus.com exclusively for Zela.