Monday 14 November 2022, 20:30

Lloyd: Every World Cup has its highs and lows

"It’s every footballer’s dream to play at a World Cup, and every footballer’s dream to win it. It’s the biggest stage in the world, and the reason we play the game." We are living in uncertain times filled with conflict and global crises. The world is divided.

The FIFA World Cup™, through the power of football, will bring people together to cross borders, unite and celebrate together. "Football Unites the World" will be a global movement to inspire, unite and develop through football. FIFA Legends have shared their stories of how football united their respective countries during uncertain times. In the run-up to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, we take a trip down memory lane and look to the future with Carli Lloyd. When Lloyd called time on her international career in October 2022, the world paid tribute to the American’s remarkable performances. She represented her homeland an impressive 316 times, scoring 134 goals along the way. Together with her USA team-mates, Lloyd lifted the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ trophy twice in 2015 and 2019, won Olympic gold in 2008 and 2012, and was crowned the best women’s player in the world by FIFA on two separate occasions.

When asked to describe the feeling of being able to show what you can do as a player at the World Cup, Lloyd said: "I think it’s tough for players to take in the atmosphere and the journey and win a World Cup at the same time. There’s so much pressure associated with it. There are ebbs and flows, highs and lows. I think you only really appreciate it when you’re not there anymore," she explained. "It’s so important to stay in the moment and focus on one match at a time. If you’re consumed by reaching the final from the very first game, it’s usually a negative thing to think that way. You’ve got to try to stay in the moment."

It seems that is precisely what Lloyd herself did on her way to becoming a true legend of the women’s game. She scored an unforgettable hat-trick in the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015™, and was there once again as USA defended their title four years later. "The FIFA Women’s World Cup is getting better and better all the time," Lloyd said. "I’ve played at four [World Cups] starting in 2007, and every four years was bigger and better than the last. Now we’re heading towards the 2023 tournament in Australia and New Zealand, and I think it’ll be the biggest and best World Cup of all. "I’m so excited that everyone is supporting women’s football and investing more in it," she continued. "The product is there, and it’s just incredible to see how far the game has come. Teams are much more ambitious tactically, and the players are technically better, faster and stronger. It’s a phenomenal thing to witness."