The FIFA Women's World Cup, which was hosted in France, culminated Sunday with USA lifting the trophy for a record breaking 4th time. They beat Netherlands 2-0 with goals from Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle. The tournament was great for football fans and had so many highlights. In this article, we want to highlight 10 women who really stood out to us this World Cup.
She was a powerhouse both on and off the field. When she's not giving her bold opinions she's taking bold shots at goal. Rapinoe finished the World Cup as the joint top goal scorer of the World Cup, netting six goals including one in the finals. Rapinoe was also named Best Player of the Tournament. Her accolades were well deserved as she was integral in the USA retaining the trophy. She was the only goal scorer for USA's round of 16 match against Spain which they won 2-1. Rapinoe was once again the only goal scorer against the host country which ultimately knocked them out of the competition. USA had beat France 2-1 breaking French hearts everywhere.
Sari van Veenendaal
Veenendaal showed amazing goalkeeping skills to get her team into finals of the World Cup. She kept clean sheets versus New Zealand, Sweden and Italy. She was simply amazing vs the USA even though her team ended up losing the match. Veenendaal ended up making many important saves, preventing an embarrassing scoreline we know the USA can deliver. What is interesting bout her is that she wasn't the first choice goalie for Arsenal and wasn't going to be the first choice goalie for the Netherlands either. She really stepped up and proved her skills in this tournament and I hope she finds a club who values her and will give her the first place spot she deserves.
Giulia Ronja Gwinn
At only age 20, Gwinn scored the only goal for Germany in their opener against China.She was named player of the match and by the end of the tournament, with one goal and one assist, she won the Best Young Player at the World Cup award. She even played the full 90 minutes all of Germany's matches.
Wéndèleine Thérèse Renard
While Wendie Renard didn't get any FIFA awards, she definitely stood out to me. The French powerhouse made her presence known and gave the host country something to look forward to in French matches. She plays as central defender and does a great job at it. However, she has scored multiple goals this World Cup. She netted two against South Korea and was named player of the match. Being the tallest player of the World Cup made her well equipped to net headers that come flying in from corners. Her goal scoring abilities extend to penalties too, she scored the only goal vs Nigeria. She was also the only goalscorer in the game against USA which they lose 1-2. There's never a dull moment with her on the field. She scored an own goal for Norway but luckily France managed to get the win.
Ellen White had the English singing "it's coming home" once again. She won the bronze boot and she was the joint top goal scorer of the World Cup. She netted two against Japan which were the only goals of match. She was also the only goal scorer for Eng;and against the USA who knocked them out of the semi finals 1-2. She was a reliable goal scorer for her country and for that she deserves recognition.
Bronze collected the silver ball which means she was seen as the second best player of the World Cup. It's always refreshing to see defenders being recognized for their overall impact for their team. She was named the BBC Women's Footballer of the Year in 2018 and so came into the World Cup with a lot of a lot of expectations on her shoulder. Her amazing strike vs Norway was nominated for goal of the tournament and she ended up being the player of the match for that game. England had been pretty solid defensively as well never conceding more than 2 goals for the match and copped a couple clean sheets.
Of course, we couldn't have a list of stand out players without Alex Morgan. She came to win this World Cup for the USA and you could see it. She netted five goals versus Thailand and netted the match winner against England. She received the silver boot for scoring the 6 goals. She co captained her side to victory and even though she only scored in two matches, her influence was always present.
Lavelle received the bronze ball for being the third best player of the World Cup. She was very instrumental in helping the USA to retain their title. She scored the first goal for the USA in the finals and scored twice vs Thailand. This was her first World Cup and with a team that is as established as the USA, there is a lot of pressure placed on her to perform and she did.
Formiga is an amazing talent and made her seventh appearance at the World Cup which is a record. She was also the oldest player at the World Cup and I didn't get the feeling that Brazil's midfield was anymore vulnerable with her there. Her experience has helped her team. She played against Jamaica and Australia but had to miss the Italy match because she got too many yellow cards. She even came back and played the match against France and picked up another yellow card. None of this takes away from her of course, it might even show how fierce she is even though she is older than everyone else there.
Jamaica's first choice goal keeper has found her way into the hearts of many football fans both here and abroad. At just 19 years old and playing her first World Cup she has given a valiant fight and showed bravery. We first saw a glimpse of this when she kept out Andressa Alves' penalty in Jamaica's first match against Brazil. She also kept out a penalty from Cristiana Girelli in her match versus Italy as well. With more experience I don't see how a Golden Glove award will miss her in the future.
This list could have included so many other footballers, who were your favourites?