FIFA Women's World Cup: 10 Players We Love
FIFA Women's World Cup: 10 Players We Love
The FIFA Women’s World Cup is finally here, soldiering on despite ugly corruption stories in the larger FIFA family. Though it’s hard to distance the two, it is important.
The Women’s World Cup is one of very few major international sports leagues for professional female athletes, and we’re proud to support all women who’ve proven themselves in this arena. As the tournament drama starts to mount and our favourite teams slowly get picked off, we know we just have to deal. For now, however, though each player is important, there are ten ladies in particular we can’t take our eyes off of:
1. Aya Miyama, Japan
The two-time AFC Women Player of the Year is back, this time as the captain of returning champion Japan. Midfielder Miyama is known for a palpable streak of leadership and considerable foresight on the field, but to be honest, we’re most impressed by her game-on philosophy. “We should shrug off the state of mind as defending champions and start as underdogs,” she’s said.
2. Louisa Necib, France
Nothing is more annoying than when this warrior on the field is referred to as the “female Zidane.” The midfielder from Lyon has her own set of skills, thank you very much, and has displayed an intuitive control of the ball since her debut four years ago. An ace up the sleeve of Team France, we expect many impossible passes to be made possible by Necib this season.
3. Vivianne Miedema, Netherlands
Age is not important before talent, but we doubtless impressed that the top scorer in the European qualifying rounds, with 16 goals, is only 18 years of age. The Netherlands isn’t expected to dominate at this year’s Women’s World Cup, but lots of people are looking at Miedema to make rivals work for their victory. A striker that we’re hoping strikes many, many times.
4. Nadine Angerer, Germany
Germany has a star goalie in Angerer. No, really: the team captain was the first ever goalkeeper to be awarded FIFA’s World Player of The Year, and in 2007, she became the first player, male or female, to play an entire World Cup series without letting in a single goal. With Angerer’s retirement looming towards the end of the year, fans are hoping she’ll pull off another magnificent streak before she steps back from the field.
5.Abby Wambach, USA
Wambach has two Olympic golds, a FIFA Ballon d’Or from 2012 and a reputation as the all-time international goal-scorer, with more than 182 goals to her name. Striker Wambach is experienced, daunting and incredibly capable, but quite honestly, we love her attitude the most. At a press conference, when asked if she felt she “needed” to win the world cup, Wambach replied, “you're damn right I need it. It's all that I'm thinking about. It's all that's on my mind."
6. Celia Sasic, Germany
Sasic has undeniable chops. She scores equally well with either foot, and is often instrumental in setting up teammates to take their own goals. This striker is no doubt one of Team Germany’s not-so-secret weapons in the coming games, and we can’t wait to see what she pulls off this time.
7. Christine Sinclair, Canada
No doubt the pressure is building for the captain of Team Canada and one of the official ambassadors for the entire tournament. Sinclair is a star striker with 153 goals under her belt, and her leadership has helped Canada recover from the shame of our performance in 2011. With seven previous nominations for FIFA Player of the Year, we’re itching to see if this year will see Sinclair crowned.
8. Lara Dickenmann, Switzerland
It’s the first time the Swiss are participating in the World Cup, and all eyes are on Dickenmann to deliver. Having earned the title of “Swiss Army Knife” from fans who love her for her versatility, Dickenmann is adept at switching a retaliating defence into a surprise offence. Bonus points for being equally good at scoring with either foot.
9. Amandine Henry, France
Methodical, intelligent and confident, Henry is one of the best defensive midfielders on the scene right now. With many awards from the Olympique Lyonnais and an intuitive ability to capture the ball, Henry is the one to watch, even if only to see how quickly she takes control of any situation around her.
10. Marta Vieira de Silva, Brazil
Marta is one of those players who is easily known by her first name, but you would be too if you won the FIFA Player of the Year award five years in a row. True, the streak ran from 2006-2011, but Marta has stayed invincible, displaying the kind of talent that allows her to speak up about the inherent sexism in the field of football itself. This forward is always a joy to observe, and this season will doubtless prove to us again why, for the past eleven years, she has consistently been one of the top three contenders for FIFA Player of the Year award.