Following the success of last year’s World Cup in France where the United States beat Netherlands 2-0 in the final, women’s football seemed to have stepped out from the shadows of men’s football and stands out on its own. Today, there are an estimated 30 million women players worldwide.
Women’s football is a global phenomenon now thanks to some greats who have made the sport better. It’s been producing some great football over the years and some unbelievable players have taken the sport to another level. Today we’ll look at the greatest women footballers of all-time.
CHRISTINE SINCLAIR (Canada)
She is the record goalscorer in international football. Not just in women’s football but in both men and the women’s game. In 296 international caps for Canada, Sinclair has found the net 186 times. She has helped Canada to the CONCACAF Women’s Championship and secured a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics where she finished as the tournament’s top goalscorer. Sinclair is the best footballer Canada has ever produced.
ABBY WAMBACH (USA)
The second-highest goalscorer in international football, Abby retired in 2015 and in 256 appearances, she scored 184 goals. Her impact on major tournaments has been massive. In 29 matches, she scored 22 goals helping the USA win the World Cup in 2015. In 2011, she became the first player to receive the Associated Press Athlete of the Year award and won the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2012. She also has two Olympic gold medals to go along with these major honours.
MIA HAMM (USA)
Before Wambach came along, Mia Hamm was the all-time leading goalscorer in international football. She still holds the record for most assists with 144. Mia retired in 2004 but in her glorious career, she scored 158 times in 275 international appearances. She is a two-time World Cup winner and also has got her hands on one gold medal at the Olympics. In 2001, she was the first-ever recipient of the ‘World Player of the Year’ award.
Marta is famously known as the women’s football’s Pele. She has a keen eye for goal and has found the net 108 times in 154 matches for Brazil. Though the World Cup triumph has eluded her till now, she is the recipient of six ‘World Player of the Year’ awards, winning five consecutively between 2006 and 2010. In 2019, she became the first player to score 17 goals at the World Cup stage and is the highest-scoring player in the tournament.
SUN WEN (China)
‘FIFA Female Player of the Century’ in 2002, Sun Wen was one of the greatest players in women’s football. During China’s golden age of football, Sun Wen was at the heart of it. Between 1990 and 2006, Sun played 163 international matches and scored 106 times. Added to this, she was the winner of both the Golden Boot and Golden Ball awards in the 1999 World Cup. Sun has never won a major tournament with China but was surely among the top players ever in women’s football history.
MICHELLE AKERS (USA)
Another recipient of the ‘FIFA Female Player of the Century’ award, Michelle Akers left quite a legacy in women’s football. In her younger years, Akers was a lethal striker and later converted to a defensive midfielder after she was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome in 1994. Still, she earned 155 international caps for the USA and scored 107 times. She scored two crucial goals in the final of the 1991 World Cup and won the World Cup a second time in 1999. She also went on to win the Olympic gold medal in 1996.
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