We are just over a couple of months away from the biggest football tournament of this year: the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The 2019 instalment saw the United States Women’s National Team see off the Netherlands in the finals to win their fourth world title. USWNT’s Megan Rapinoe took home the best player award while Germany’s Giulia Gwinn took the best young player award.
Ahead of this summer’s tournament, injuries have already ruled out star players like Netherlands’ Vivianne Miedema and England’s Beth Mead while the likes of Spain’s Alexia Putellas and England’s Lucy Bronze are facing a race against time to get back in shape.
Thus, without ado let’s take a look at the top 10 best players to watch for in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Also read: FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Sponsors
#10 Selma Bacha | France
Selma Bacha is a breath of fresh air in a veteran-laden French squad. Despite playing less than 50% of league football this season, Bacha is top of the assists chart, tops the list for chances created, crosses completed, and shot-creating actions; and sits fourth for expected assists. Moreover, she maintains a healthy interceptions and tackling ratio despite Lyon keeping all of the ball, which in itself is quite ridiculous.
Thus, the 22-year-old has the potential to drive France much deeper into the tournament given her attacking explosiveness as well as having the skill set to cover ground and make last-ditch interceptions.
Also Read – Selma Bacha: Sponsors | Brand endorsements
#9 Frida Maanum | Norway
Frida Maanum was always considered someone who had loads of potential but never quite lived up to those heights. After five seasons in the Swedish league and a bit-part role in Norway’s 2019 World Cup campaign, the 2022-23 season has stood out as a breakthrough season for the 23-year-old. In the absence of attacking players like Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead, the Arsenal women’s team needed options and the Norwegian stepped up her game a level or two to emerge as one of the standout players in the UWCL as well as the WSL this season.
However, for a country that was once among the powerhouses of women’s football, Norway have crashed out in the group stages of the last two European Championships while managing to reach the quarter-finals once in their last three world cup attempts. Thus, just as Maanum stepped up for Arsenal, she’ll have to do the same to change Norway’s fortunes.
Also Read – Frida Maanum: Sponsors | Brand endorsements
#8 Christine Sinclair | Canada
After nearly two decades of service to the Canadian women’s national team, Christine Sinclair will be entering her last world cup this summer. The 39-year-old is Canada’s all-time leading goal-scoring and sits top on the list for women’s international goalscorers with 184 goals. Moreover, Sinclair also won an astonishing 14 Canadian Player of the Year awards throughout her playing career. But team accolades are something that Sinclair doesn’t have in abundance, having won only the CONCACAF W Championship in 2010, followed by an Olympic gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Also Read – Christine Sinclair: Sponsors | Brand endorsements
#7 Marta Vieira da Silva | Brazil
Marta Vieira Da Silva is arguably the greatest female football player the world has ever seen. World football first witnessed her brilliance at the 2007 FIFA World Cup, where she inspired the Brazilian national team to a runners-up finish, winning both the FIFA Golden Ball and FIFA Golden Shoe. Incredibly, she won the FIFA World Player of the Year award five years in a row from 2006-2010 while finishing runners-up in 2005, 2011, 2012, and 2014.
Although recent performances from the Brazilian team haven’t been noteworthy, with two Round of 16 exits in the last two world cup editions. However, with some young and talented players in the current roster, Marta and Brazil will be hoping for a much better showing this time around.
Also Read – Marta Vieira Da Silva’s Sponsors, Brand Endorsements, Investments
#6 Alex Morgan | USA
At 34, this could quite possibly be Alex Morgan’s last world cup. The USWNT player has been in the form of her life in the lead-up to the world cup. Morgan won the Golden Boot award last season, scoring 15 goals for the San Diego Wave, which was the most she has ever scored in a single season of the NWSL. Despite spending some time out due to injury, the 33-year-old led San Diego Wave to the semifinals while she already has four goals and one assist from five league appearances this season. Thus, if this were to be her last world cup, she’d dearly want to lift that unprecedented third World Cup in a row.
Also Read – Alex Morgan’s Sponsors, Brand Endorsements, Investments
#5 Klara Bühl | Germany
Klara Bühl is a 22-year-old versatile forward who plays professionally for German giants Bayern Munich Frauen. Bühl is an explosive winger who likes to hug the touchline and create opportunities for her teammates. A technical winger who operates best down the left flank has registered double-digit goal contributions in her last two campaigns while this season she has already registered five goals and six assists from 18 Frauen Bundesliga games.
Although she missed both the semifinal and the final of the European Championships after testing positive for COVID-19, if she can replicate her league form with the German team, there’s no doubt they’ll be gunning to go one step further this time around.
Also Read – Klara Bühl’s Sponsors
#4 Lauren Hemp | England
The 22-year-old Manchester City Women’s forward has slowly cemented her place as a potential star for England for the 2023 world cup. With Ellen White retired and Beth Mead forced out due to injury, the onus will be on the likes of Lauren Hemp to spearhead the Lioness forward line. Despite being just 22, Hemp has already won 37 caps for the national team, scoring 10 goals and providing 17 assists, including the one for Chloe Kelly’s winner at the 2022 European Championships final.
Also Read – Lauren Hemp’s Sponsors, Brand Endorsements, Investments
#3 Sam Kerr | Australia
Samantha Kerr – the leader of the host country – apart from making her debut for the Australian national team at the age of 15, being their all-time leading goalscorer, and being their captain since 2019, the 29-year-old is one of Australia’s most decorated football players. She has won the golden boot in three different leagues, which is a rare feat. This season alone, she has already 15 goals and 5 assists from 28 WSL and UWCL games and will be looking to take Australia deep into the tournament on home soil.
Also Read – Sam Kerr: Sponsorship deals | Brand endorsements
#2 Sophie Smith | USA
The 22-year-old Portland Thorns star had a magnificent 2022. She scored 14 goals in 18 NWSL games, also netting 11 goals for the USWNT for the 2022-23 calendar year. This season, the 22-year-old striker already has 4 goals and 5 assists from six NWSL appearances.
Although all eyes will be on veterans Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, don’t be surprised if the Thorns’ striker set the World Cup alight this summer.
Also Read – Sophia Smith: Sponsors | Brand endorsements
#1 Alexia Putellas | Spain
The two-time Ballon d’Or winner has returned to training following a lengthy layout after the 29-year-old tore her Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in a friendly encounter against the United States in October 2022. One of the most technically gifted players in the world, Putellas is the captain of both Spain’s national women’s football team and Barcelona Femení. She is the lynchpin of the Spanish setup with every move flowing through her.
Thus, after narrowly losing to England in the quarterfinals of last summer’s Euros, Putellas would want to take her team much deeper into the tournament this time around.
Also Read – Alexia Putellas: Sponsorship deals | Brand endorsements