Split loyalties for England’s Jess Carter as she faces German goalkeeper partner in Euros final 

Romance across enemy lines for the Lionesses: Split loyalties for England star Jess Carter as she faces showdown against her German goalkeeper partner in Euros final

  • England fans will hope Carter is determined on beating her partner on Sunday
  • The couple became an item after playing at Birmingham City together in 2018 
  • Chelsea FC pokes fun: ‘Well well well, we’ll be seeing you both at Wembley!’

Chelsea teammates Jess Carter and Ann-Katrin Berger are a football fairytale love story – but they now face putting that aside – and staring each other down as bitter rivals in Wembley’s Euros final on Sunday.

They are a seamless team both on and off the pitch – but the girlfriends will have a real Romeo and Juliet situation on their hands as both are likely to start on the bench for rival teams in England’s first final since 2009.

Carter, who plays in defence, and girlfriend Berger, who plays in goal, first became close while they were at Birmingham City together after the German moved to the club in June 2018.

While Carter made an exceptionally young debut in the Champions League at 16 back in 2014, success for Verger has come later in life as she made her international debut aged 30.

But after meeting the couple both transferred to Chelsea, and friendship quickly turned into something more – leaving the pair enjoying a happy long-term relationship ever since.

And while fans may have been secretly hoping for a revival of one of football’s longest-running rivalries, Carter and Berger might not be so excited at the prospect of England v Germany. 

The last time they played at Wembley together, they were winning the FA cup. This time, one of them will be horribly disappointed.

But it does seem the couple have a healthy attitude towards competing against one another.

After Berger’s side found victory against France last night, Chelsea took to Instagram to create some fun out of the situation, writing: ‘Well well well, we’ll be seeing you both at Wembley!’

Chelsea teammates Jess Carter (right) and Ann-Katrin Berger (left) are a seamless team both on and off the pitch

Chelsea teammates Jess Carter (right) and Ann-Katrin Berger (left) are a seamless team both on and off the pitch

Jess Carter made her debut in the Champions League when she was just 16 for Birmingham City

Jess Carter made her debut in the Champions League when she was just 16 for Birmingham City

Goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger joined Birmingham City in June 2018, and it is there that love began to foster between her and Carter

Goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger joined Birmingham City in June 2018, and it is there that love began to foster between her and Carter

Ahead of the Euros, Berger said she really wanted the world to see the massive improvement in women’s goalkeeping since the last title clash. 

And both players are open about their sexuality and relationship, but Carter in particular posts frequently on social media in support of her girlfriend.

She also wrote a Rainbow Laces blog post in 2021 revealing her relationship with her teammate for England Football, arguing that visibility in the game is extremely important, especially for people of colour and the LGBT+ community.

Rainbow Laces is a project between Stonewall and premier league clubs to advocate for LGBT+ visibility in sport.

Carter said: ‘I think the most important thing with the Rainbow Laces campaign is it provides visibility to all ages. 

‘By seeing that it is normal and you can be whoever you want to be, the campaign shows younger people that it is ok to be you. 

Jess Carter (right) has frequently spoken about how important diversity and visibility is in sport

Jess Carter (right) has frequently spoken about how important diversity and visibility is in sport

The couple recently went on a romantic holiday to Miami in their downtime - showing they don't quite eat, sleep, breathe the game

The couple recently went on a romantic holiday to Miami in their downtime – showing they don’t quite eat, sleep, breathe the game

Jess Carter of Chelsea (facing) celebrates Chelsea's third goal with Ann-Katrin Berger during the Vitality Women's FA Cup Final between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Wembley

Ann-Katrin Berger and Jess Carter of Chelsea celebrate winning the Vitality Women's FA Cup Final between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Wembley

The last time Carter and Berger played at Wembley together they were on the same team, and both came away with the FA cup

‘It is really important we do that, particularly for the younger generation.

‘I think the women’s game in England is the biggest for showing its support for diversity and being who you want to be. 

‘You can see the amount of women in the game who are in same gender couples and partnerships and you can see it in the different types of fans who we get to our games.’

But perhaps England fans should be less worried about the couple’s relationship and more worried about their ability to play against one another.

Carter has been extremely supportive of her partner in the past. After Berger was named in the national squad for the 2020 Algarve cup, Carter wrote: ‘Saying I’m proud is an understatement! 

‘Congrats on your call up. Its beyond me how its taken this long and that you’re not consistently selected nevertheless you’ve deserved this! Go smash it.’

She has repeatedly described both the Chelsea team and her partner as family, celebrating Chelsea’s FA cup win in December 2021 with the simple: ‘Proud is an understatement, what a day!’

Outside of the pitch too, Carter is full of praise for Berger, who she says she still sees as her role model, as she reflects on her debut performance. 

‘Once again she manages to inspire me and so many others. 

‘Making your debut for your country is special but to do it at the age of 30 is even more admirable. 

Carter shared this photo on Instagram as she praised her girlfriend, adding she doesn't understand why Berger is not 'consistently selected'

Carter shared this photo on Instagram as she praised her girlfriend, adding she doesn’t understand why Berger is not ‘consistently selected’

Berger (left) and Carter have a great sense of humour off pitch, even once donning matching Christmas onesies given to them by Carter's family

Berger (left) and Carter have a great sense of humour off pitch, even once donning matching Christmas onesies given to them by Carter’s family

From playing side by side on the pitch to attending weddings together - come Sunday, the pair will no longer have their girlfriend to rely on - for 90 minutes, at least

From playing side by side on the pitch to attending weddings together – come Sunday, the pair will no longer have their girlfriend to rely on – for 90 minutes, at least

The couple's fans may be hoping they stay on the bench throughout the game - and an on-pitch confrontation is unlikely

The couple’s fans may be hoping they stay on the bench throughout the game – and an on-pitch confrontation is unlikely

‘Never have you once given up or stopped trying and you’ve now achieved something that you’ve worked so hard for. You’ve made so many people proud.’

She has also described Berger as an ‘amazing woman, not only are you the kindest person I’ve ever met but you keep me motivated and going each day.’ 

And just when you think the couple might only think about football, there is a fun side to their relationship too.

Trips to Miami and Portugal show Carter and Berger like to spend some romantic time away from the spotlight – and are still subject to the same family traditions as the rest of us.

Carter shared with her fans that even she and Berger are subjected to matching pyjamas come Christman time: ‘My family thought matching elf onesies and socks were the way forward this year.

‘Merry Christmas to everyone, I hope people still manage to find a way to have a special time this year.’      

‘I think I was – and probably still am – more comfortable than Ann is with publicising our relationship,’ she said in an article for the England Football website in December. 

‘But that is just because Ann is a very private person whereas I am more of a ‘the whole world could know and I wouldn’t really care’ kind of person.

‘Over time and because I will say whatever, she has kind of got used to it and goes with it. 

‘She doesn’t shout from the rooftop about it but equally when she is asked it is not a secret either.

But regardless of how open the pair are about their relationship, both must prepare to set it aside ahead of Sunday’s final.

As both have started on the bench so far this competition, the couple may escape facing off directly – but unavoidably, one will leave the other heartbroken. 

This is not the first relationship with Chelsea FC has fostered: Pernille Harder and Magdalena Eriksson hit headlines in recent years after revealing their love for one another extended off the pitch.

The last time the two sides came head-to-head in a Euros final, Germany won 6-2. 

The formidable team won every single Euros between 1989 and 2013 – except for one.

Carter and her fellow Lionesses beat Eriksson of course in that legendary 4-0 win over Sweden on Tuesday (July 26). 

Source

Related posts