Chelsea and England star Fran Kirby has described her career as a “roller coaster” as she prepares to win her 50th senior international for the Lionesses this week.
Kirby has re-established herself as one of the best players in the world this year with glittering form for Chelsea, as she fought back from a heart disease that kept her out of action for several months in 2019/20 and even threatened her career.
The 28-year-old has also had problems with knee and ankle injuries in the past, while she stopped playing football as a teenager due to depression that followed her mother’s sudden death.
But Kirby had a fantastic season for Chelsea 2020/21 and went from there with the other individual PFA and FWA awards in her career. She has also recently been nominated for the 2021 Ballon d’Or Feminin, after being on the 2018 shortlist.
“It’s been a roller coaster, of course. But it’s a journey that I’m really proud of and that, when I look back, I probably would not change much. I know I’ve been through a lot, but it has made me who I am, ”she told a news conference ahead of England’s clash with Latvia this week.
Kirby, who made his lioness derby in 2014 and had an outburst in the World Cup the following year, made 49 England appearances against Northern Ireland last time and is now set to reach half a century on the international stage.
? “It has made me who I am.”
England forward @frankirby says it would be special to win his 50th international match against Latvia tomorrow after a “roller coaster” trip? pic.twitter.com/3rUuZjquX9
– Sky Sports WSL (@SkySportsWSL) October 25, 2021
“Hopefully I get to play a role and get the 50th cap,” she explained. “It’s obviously something I’m really proud of and I’ve been a part of this team for a long time now, so getting the 50th international match will be really, really special. It’s just nice to be back and play regularly with the team. ”
The coronavirus pandemic has seen England play just six times since the end of 2019.
The match against Latvia is the fourth of ten qualifiers that England will play in the hope of reaching the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. They have started with three consecutive victories under the new manager Sarina Wiegman, scored 22 points and have not conceded any so far.
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