U.S. women's national team midfielder Carli Lloyd was crowned as the world's top player on Monday, winning FIFA's World Player of the Year honors at the Ballon d'Or gala in Zurich.
Her 2015 was one for the record books, and it peaked on the grandest stage, with her 16-minute hat trick in the World Cup final leading the USA by Japan 5-2 en route to its first title since 1999. Lloyd joined the Planet Fútbol Podcast last week to talk about her year in the build-up to the gala.
"It's been a goal of mine individually," Lloyd told SI's Grant Wahl. "Of course there's team goals of winning World Cup and winning the Olympics, but personally this has been a goal of mine. It's taken a lot of years to get to this point, it's been tough at times, it's been frustrating, but it's really all been worth it."
Lloyd also discussed meeting Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi in the summer after the World Cup, when Argentina happened to be in Houston–where Lloyd plays on the club level for the NWSL's Dash–for a friendly.
Listen to the full interview above, with Lloyd's comments starting at the 24:10 mark.