Pernille Harder Profile
Pernille Harder is a Danish professional footballer who plays for Chelsea and the Denmark national women’s team. Previously, she has played for Team Viborg, Skovbakken, Linkoping and VfL Wolfsburg.
Harder is a vocal advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. On the field, she won the UEFA Women's Player of the Year Award in 2018 and 2020 and became the most expensive female footballer in the world when she moved from Wolfsburg to Chelsea in September 2020.
She has played a crucial role for Denmark in an international career already spanning more than a decade despite her still being in her 20s at the time of writing.
Harder had stints at Tulstrup-Faurholt and Ikast as a youth player before playing for Team Viborg and IK Skovbakken in Denmark's Elitedivisionen. Skovbakken handed her and Sofie Junge Pedersen contracts in April 2010.
Harder moved to Linkopings in 2012 and hit the ground running at the Swedish club. She scored all four goals in a 4-1 win over Sunnana SK in September 2013.
Harder's time in Sweden would get better yet as she scored 17 goals in 22 appearances during the 2015 Damallsvenskan season. She won the league's Player of the Year award as a result. In 2016, she improved further on her tally, scoring 23 goals as Linkopings won the Damallsvenskan title.
Harder left Linkopings with a total of 85 goals in 109 appearances for the club.
Pernille Harder and Wolfsburg
In December 2016, Harder's move to Wolfsburg was announced. She signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with the German giants beginning in January 2017.
Harder won the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal double in every single one of her four seasons with Wolfsburg and played in the UEFA Champions League finals of 2018 and 2020. Wolfsburg lost 4-1 to Olympique Lyon after extra time in the first and 3-1 in regulation time to the same opponents in the second.
During her time at Wolfsburg, Harder scored nearly a goal per game, netting 103 times in 113 matches, and was the top scorer in two Frauen Bundesliga seasons. Her tally of 27 in the 2019/20 season was the highest of any player in the competition since 2010.
Moving to Chelsea
On 1 September 2020, Harder signed for FA Women's Super League (FAWSL) team Chelsea in a transfer reportedly in excess of Â£250,000, making her the most expensive women's footballer of all time.
"I'm extremely happy and extremely excited to get started, to finally be here and be a Chelsea player. I couldn't be more happy," she told the club's official website.
"'I'm excited to just play for such a big club, to play with so many amazing players and to also be playing in the league [Women's Super League]. The English league, it's so exciting at the moment and I'm really looking forward to it."
Chelsea manager Emma Hayes said: "Pernille is one of the best players in the world. Her record at Wolfsburg and Linkopings, as well as internationally with Denmark, shows how valuable she has been to her teams.
"She is a fantastic team player who wants to take her game to the next level. She chose Chelsea as the club that can push her to that level. She can play for any team in the world, but she chose us.
"She chose the players, the staff, the environment, the playing style. You can't get a bigger compliment than that from one of the best players in the world."
Harder joined a Chelsea side which had only just been crowned champions of the coronavirus-affected 2019/20 FA WSL. In 2020/21, she featured regularly for Chelsea as they sought to defend their title in the race against Manchester City for league supremacy.
Harder scored eight goals in her first 17 FA WSL appearances and also scored some important goals in the UEFA Women's Champions League - including in a 2-1 first leg win over Wolfsburg, her former club.
International career with Denmark
Harder was part of Denmark's team at the inaugural Women's U-17 World Cup in 2008 in New Zealand as they topped their group only to go on to lose 4-0 to North Korea in the quarter-finals.
Harder scored a hat-trick in her senior international debut at the age of 16 in a 15-0 win over Georgia in October 2009.
She went on to score hat-tricks against Austria and Armenia in 2011 and then another against Russia in 2013.
Harder was named in Kenneth Heiner-Moller's Denmark squad for UEFA Women's Euro 2013 after scoring nine goals in qualifying. Denmark were beaten by Norway in the semi-finals of the tournament.
She scored on her 50th appearance for her country in a 1-1 draw with Serbia in October 2013.
In March 2016, she became captain of the Denmark national women's team. She led the team to the final of Euro 2017 and scored in Denmark's 4-2 defeat to the Netherlands. Harder was runner-up to Lieke Martens for the UEFA 2016/17 Women's Player of the Year award.
In 2017/18, she went one better and won the award and then followed that feat up with another victory in 2019/20.
Since May 2014, Harder has been in a relationship with current Chelsea team-mate Magdalena Eriksson.
She was photographed kissing Eriksson after the latter helped Sweden beat Canada in the last 16 of the 2019 Women's World Cup. Harder was wearing a Sweden shirt despite them being Denmark's fierce rivals. The image gained significant positive publicity for the unabashed display of romantic love between the two women.
"We've always just been natural, not so much thinking of being inspirations together, putting pictures up of each other or anything like that," Harder said, as per The Guardian. "But when we saw that photo and the comments around it, then it was really something; like: 'We're role models.' We had messages from a lot of young people, people of our age, but older people also."
Reported net worth
Harder's net worth is unknown, but as a record-breaking signing, the Chelsea player may well have already played an important part in the history of women's football as they fight for pay parity with the men's game.
"I mean I think it's a good step," Harder told Eurosport.
"It's a new time for women's football. More transfers will come like this and I think that's a really good development for women's football.
"It shows women's football is also like a business. I see it in that way, my transfer might be the start of something new."