Ballon d’Or winners, top goalscorers, and rising stars — these are seven of the best female footballers in the world.
This year’s International Women’s Month is a special one. This is because not only are we celebrating women around the globe, but we are also counting down to one of the biggest sporting events for women: the Women’s World Cup.
So as we draw closer and closer to yet another exciting month of football’s top tournament kicking off, here are some of the best female footballers in the world to get you all the more excited for the action this July.
Alexia Putellas sits on top of most, if not all the lists that name the best female footballers around the world. In fact, she became the first-ever player to be included in The Guardian’s Top 100 in back-to-back years.
The Barcelona star led the team to the 2021/22 Champions League final, where she was also the top scorer, having contributed 18 goals and 15 assists for the Spanish side. With her reliability as a midfielder, she has just recently won the Best FIFA Women’s Player. In addition, she currently holds the most number of women’s Ballons d’Or, with two trophies to her name.
Beth Mead is one of the most widely recognized female footballers in the world.
With the winger’s agility, precision, power, and speed on the pitch, her ability to score and assist has led her teams, Arsenal and the English National Team, to success, most notably including the Lionesses’ most recent Europ trophy. With this, she was awarded BBC Women’s Player of the Year in 2022. Although her momentum had recently been sidelined due to an ICL injury, her reputation still places her among the best.
Young American player Catarina Macario was in the best shape of her budding career, up until an ACL injury put her performances on hold for the time being. But despite this, she is still one of the best female footballers around.
Right before her injury, the American was enjoying a stellar run. She recorded 14 goals, eight of which she scored in the Champions League that sent Lyon to the title win. At only 23 years old, Macario still will have more to give in her career.
Sam Kerr is one of Australia’s best talents, and Chelsea has been incredibly lucky to have her playing on their side.
In the last season of the Women’s Super League — England’s highest league for women’s football — Kerr finished as the top goalscorer, driving Chelsea to their fifth title in the league. On top of this, she has also contributed immensely to the team’s last two FA Cup finals. For Australia, on the other hand, she is just as big a player and even won the Golden Boot award at the Asia Cup last year.
At 25 years old, Aitana Bonmatí seems to just be getting better and better with each passing match.
As a midfielder, she has easily become one of Barcelona’s and Spain’s best creators on the pitch, consistently providing opportunities for her sides to score. In the recent Euros, for instance, she was one of the standout players, and she exhibited her ability to take control of matches in Spain’s match against England. Although they would eventually lose to the tournament champions, it was definitely one of her breakout performances.
At 21 years old, Lena Oberdorf is Germany’s rising star, and similar to Aitana Bonmatí, she also found her breakout moment in the recent Euros, where she won the Best Young Player Award of the tournament.
Throughout Germany’s run at Euro 2022, Oberdorf proved herself on the pitch as a midfielder who can do it all. Defensively, she has gained confidence even at a young age, unafraid to go for tackles, even against some of the strongest players around. And though she is more of a defensive midfielder, she is not afraid to move forward on the attack when given the opportunity, giving her presence on the pitch just that much more influence.
Arsenal star Vivianne Miedema’s impressive skills have placed her among the best of the best in the world, and they have been for some time now.
In the 2021/22 season, for instance, she reached and surpassed a record of 100 goals for Arsenal after 110 matches. In addition, she scored 25 goals in the Women’s Champions League within 21 matches. For the Netherlands, she helped bring the national team to the World Cup finals in 2019, where she reached another personal milestone, becoming the country’s all-time top goalscorer with 60 goals.
She is a scoring machine. Although she suffered the hit of a ruptured ACL, ruling her out of the upcoming World Cup, she is still widely regarded as one of the best strikers.
Banner image from Beth Mead on Instagram.