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Matildas' striker Sam Kerr 'honoured' to be shortlisted for top FIFA award

Perth Glory striker Sam Kerr
Sam Kerr, left, says she has to pinch herself, realising she's been nominated for a top FIFA award.

Matildas' striker Sam Kerr says it's a great honour to be shortlisted for the title of best women's soccer player in the world.

But it's a nomination that sits uneasily with a team player hell-bent on achieving success for her national side.

The Perth-raised striker is a huge part of Australia's climb through the ranks of world football under coach Alen Stajcic.

Kerr netted a first international hat trick against Japan at last month's Tournament of Nations, won by Australia.

The 24-year-old is four clear on top of the United States-based National Women's Soccer League's scoring charts -- widely considered to be the best league in the world.

It's easy to understand why Kerr was named on a 10-woman shortlist for FIFA's "The Best" award.

Kerr slightly recoils at the notion.

"I pinch myself, kinda," she said. "The players that are nominated are great players, so to be among them is a huge honour.

"But I don't like talking about it. It's awkward.

"People ask me, 'Do you think you're the best player in the world?' How do you answer that?

"That's not for me to answer but it's a massive honour to be there."

Australia destroyed Brazil to win the inaugural Tournament of Nations.
Sam Kerr and the Matildas will face Brazil in two friendlies on home soil.

The shortlist is due to be whittled to three names in the next week, with a winner announced in an Oct. 23 ceremony.

In the meantime, Kerr and her Matildas' teammates are focused on the challenge of Brazil this week in two friendlies.

There are no prizes on the line, but Kerr wants to maintain Australia's winning streak to boost the side's overall target.

"Being No.1 is the goal, 100 per cent," she said. "It's everyone's goal. If it's not then Staj (Stajcic) wouldn't have them here.

"Everyone has put a lot of time, money and effort into us and that's what we're shooting for. Olympic gold and the World Cup.

"The Tournament of Nations was big for us. It was a huge success and it really gave the girls confidence that we really can be the best in the world.

"We're really focused and eager to play Brazil."

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