A team at home, rivals on the pitch—Couples of the Women’s World Cup

In contrast with men’s football, fortunately in (international) women’s football it’s not as much as a taboo anymore to be gay or a member of the LGBTQ+ community.  At the on-going World Cup co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, on the 32 teams, there are around 100 players who have already come out, a figure well over 10%. That number even surprised us!

Now we’re going to share 5 lesbian couples of which both partners will play in the World Cup, but in different national colors. They may even end up playing against one another.

Sam Kerr (29, Australian) and Kristie Mewis (32, American)

Kerr is the host’s big hope in this World Cup. The Chelsea striker scored 29 goals in the last season for her club and is considered one of the world’s best players. Her relationship with Mewis came to light after the Tokyo Olympics. The United States beat Australia in the bronze-medal match and Mew was already consoling Kerr on the pitch.

Magdalena Eriksson (29, Swedish) and Pernille Harder (30, Danish)

These two have been a couple for more than 10 years now. Their famous kiss picture was taken at the 2019 World Cup when Harder wore a Swedish jersey to cheer for her girlfriend during the 3rd-place match. On the club level, they’ve built their careers separately for a while, but in 2020 they had enough of the long-distance relationship: Harder from Wolfsburg signed for Chelsea where her girlfriend was captain. This summer they transferred together to Bayern Munich.

Daniëlle van de Donk (31, Dutch) and Ellie Carpenter (23, Australian)

Both players are strengths on their national teams and have played together for the French Premier League team Olympique Lyon since 2021. Just a few months after joining the same team, rumors of their relationship surfaced. The signs became more and more visible until Carpenter watched the 2022 European Championship in Van de Donk’s jersey. This spring, the couple celebrated Carpenter’s birthday in the chic resort of Bürgenstock, Switzerland.

Ann-Kathrin Berger (32, German) and Jess Carter (25, English)

The goalkeeper and defender met in the summer of 2016 at Birmingham. A year later, Berger and Carter were first seen kissing. Jess was hesitant at first because she had never been in a relationship with a woman. Now they’ve been a happy couple for 6 years, and both play at Chelsea. They had some difficult times when the German goalkeeper had thyroid cancer, but they won that battle together.

Linda Sembrant (36, Swedish) and Lisa Boattin (26, Italian)

In 2017, Boattin signed for Juventus and, two years later, Sembrant, who had been playing for Montpellier, joined her. The Swede doesn’t usually talk about her private life, but this Valentine’s Day the couple went public with a video about their relationship. Sembrant, who is normally very private, is now proud of their boldness: “Looking back, I can say it was even more important to come out than we had thought.”



Translated by Amy Soto

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