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Women football players: The best in the world in 2023

While men’s football remains the most popular version of the sport, the women’s side of the game continues to grow year after year as media exposure and fan interest has increased in recent years. Barcelona have been at the centre of it and they broke the record for the highest attendance in women’s football twice when they hosted the UEFA Women’s Champions League games at the Camp Nou in 2022.

But who are the best women football players and what are their achievements? Find out below:

Women football players: Top 10 in the world in 2022

PlayerClubCountryPositionAge
Alexia PutellasBarcelonaSpainMidfielder28
Sam KerrChelseaAustraliaForward28
Aitana BonmatiBarcelonaSpainMidfielder24
Catarina MacarioLyonUnited StatesMidfielder22
Vivianne MiedemaArsenalThe NetherlandsForward25
Caroline Graham HansenBarcelonaNorwayMidfielder27
Marie-Antoinette KatotoParis Saint-GermainFranceForward23
Jennifer HermosoPachucaSpainForward32
Mapi LeonBarcelonaSpainDefender27
Ada HegerbergLyonNorwayForward26

Alexia Putellas | Barcelona and Spain

The undisputed queen among women football players in the world, Barcelona and Spain’s Alexia Putellas is the face of the sport. Winner of the Ballon d’Or Feminin, The Best FIFA Women’s Player, and UEFA Women’s Player of the Year awards in 2021 and 2022, Putellas is the leader of the Barcelona side and has also become the face of the club off the pitch following the departure of Lionel Messi.

She has been the most influencing match-winner in women’s football and her intelligence, technical ability, passing range, leadership qualities, creativity and decision-making are truly a cut above the rest. She was the leading assist provider in Spain’s Primera Division in the 21/22 season and the top-scorer in the 21/22 UEFA Women’s Champions League. Unfortunately, 2022 proved to have a sour ending for the Barcelona captain who suffered a serious knee injury and missed almost the entire season so far.

Sam Kerr | Chelsea and Australia

Sam Kerr was adjudged as the 2021/22 PFA Players’ Player of the Year for her outstanding and consistent performances with Chelsea in England. The Australian striker had one of the best seasons of her football career recently and she won the FA Cup, league title as well as several player of the season awards.

The captain of Australia also became the first and only female footballer to win Golden Boot awards in three different leagues on three different continents. She also became Australia’s leading goal-scorer in 2022 and also made history by becoming the first woman to appear on the global cover of the FIFA video game alongside Kylian Mbappe.

Aitana Bonmati | Barcelona and Spain

One of the most inspired and creative players in the world, Aitana Bonmati has been at the Camp Nou since she was 14 years old. As a result, she has come to typify and exemplify the famous and elegant style of football and technical brilliance that is nurtured and honed at the club’s famous La Masia academy. She is also extremely press-resistant and can twist and turn her way out of trouble. Still just 24, Bonmati continues to improve year after year and her game in the final third has seen a lot of progress recently.

Bonmati was the player of the match in the 2020/21 UEFA Women’s Champions League final win over Chelsea and she ended the following season with 16 goals and seven assists across the Primera Division and European competition. Bonmati, along with her teammate Putellas, often earn comparisons of watching the echoes of Xavi and Iniesta in Barcelona and in the Spanish national team.

Catarina Macario | Lyon and United States of America

Catarina Macario had a sensational year for her club and country and is being hailed as one of the stars for the future of US women’s national team in football. Macario was originally born in Brazil but moved to the United States of America at the age of 12 with her father and brother in order to pursue her dream of playing professional football.

The sacrifices paid off as Macario won the UEFA Women’s Champions League with Lyon, defeating Barcelona on her very first attempt. She also finished as the top-scorer for her club in her first full season in France and scored 23 goals in 35 matches across all competitions, including nine goals and two assists in the Champions League.

Vivianne Miedema | Arsenal and the Netherlands

Vivianne Miedema is a natural finisher in the women’s game and is one of the most talented forwards in the world. However, despite possessing the natural abilities of a number 9, she thinks of herself as a mix of a number 9 and number 10 and tries to focus on the creative side of things as well and as such, collects an assist almost every two games.

In June 2022, she became the first player to be involved in 100 goals in the FA Women’s Super League. Despite the success that has come her way and the lack of silverware, she remains loyal and faithful to Arsenal. Miedema is also extremely intelligent and possesses immense tactical nous. She has a UEFA ‘B’ coaching license and has even collected a master’s degree in Football Business from the Johan Cruyff Institute in 2021

Caroline Graham Hansen | Barcelona and Norway

Caroline Graham Hansen is recognised as arguably the best winger in the entire world. Had she not played for Barcelona, she would’ve been the star and the face of her team. The Norwegian has had an extremely decorated football career glittering with silverware. She has as many as 20 major trophies to her name and has reached four UEFA Women’s Champions League finals, lifting the trophy once, with Barcelona in 20/21.

She is also an extremely atypical Norwegian player as she combines technical ability, dribbling and skills to beat players and influence play instead of relying solely on physique. Despite scoring 13 goals and registering 25 assists in all competitions, she was unfortunate to miss out on Ballon d’Or nomination but her impact can hardly be doubted as Barcelona have won nine out of a possible 12 trophies since she joined the club in 2019.

Marie Antoinette-Katoto | Paris Saint-Germain and France

At the age of just 23, Marie Antoinette-Katoto is already the leading goal-scorer for Paris Saint-Germain in France overtaking Marie-Laure Delie to score 132 goals in 148 matches. Those numbers can put even the best players in the world – across both men’s and women’s football – to shame. Blessed with an insane burst of acceleration and possessing extreme composure and finishing ability in front of goal, she is one of the most feared strikers in women’s football.

She has been with the club from the capital of France for more than a decade and joined the team first as a youngster in 2011. Beyond simply scoring goals, her understanding of which spaces to take up and her movement also make her extremely difficult to contain and she won both the Golden Boot and Player of the Year in France’s 21/22 Division 1 Feminine.

Jennifer Hermoso | Pachuca and Spain

While Jennifer Hermoso didn’t come close to matching her incredible streak in front of goal that led Barcelona to winning the treble as well as the UEFA Women’s Champions League in 2020-21, her numbers over the last year were still pretty impressive. The 32-year-old scored 16 goals as Barcelona lifted the league trophy while being unbeaten and also added another five goals in the Champions League where they finished as runners-up to Lyon.

Following the expiry of her contract with Barcelona last summer, Hermoso decided to join Liga MX side Pachuca in Mexico. She still continues to be at the top of her game but has evolved more into a number 10 than a number 9 due to her age.

Mapi Leon | Barcelona and Spain

A defender who not only is able to steal the ball from the opposition but who plays passes consistently upfront for the midfielders and forwards to link up with, Mapi Leon is extremely vital to Barcelona and their buildup from the back. She is an aggressive defender who does like to play on the front foot and will never shy away from a challenge or two. Leon also pressurises attackers into making mistakes and is quite adept at blocking passing lanes and making interceptions.

She has spent five years with Barcelona so far and has also won three consecutive league titles. With her leading the backline, the Blaugrana also reached back to back UEFA Women’s Champions League finals, winning and losing once each.

Ada Hegerberg | Lyon and Norway

The last couple of years have been harsh on Ada Hegerberg as one of the undisputed star of the modern game was absent for nearly 21 months owing to an ACL rupture in January 2020. While such a lengthy period away from the game can affect any player both physically and mentally, Hegerberg picked things up from right where they were left off and by November, she was back on the starting XI and scoring goals and registering assists for Lyon.

She also scored in the Champions League final against the mighty Barcelona side and helped Lyon conquer the most important trophy in Europe. The 26-year-old also decided to return to the Norwegian national team setup and scored a hattrick on her return to the side.

FAQs

Who is the best female football player in India?

Bala Devi is the best female football player in India.

Who are the most popular women footballers in the world?

Alexia Putellas, Sam Kerr, Aitana Bonmati, Alex Morgan, Ada Hegerberg, and Megan Rapinoe are some of the most popular women footballers in the world.

Which women footballers are famous in UK?

Sam Kerr, and Vivianne Miedema, Lucy Bronze, Keira Walsh, Ella Toone, and Beth Mead are the most famous women footballers in the United Kingdom.

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