Top 10 Best Female Soccer Players Of All Time

//ANNE GERRINGER//

So many amazing female soccer players exist all around the world. Many have accomplished amazing achievements.  Some of the players have left such a big impact on FIFA (the Federation Internationale de Football Association), that they have gone down in history. Here are the Top Ten Best Female Soccer Players of All Time.

#10. Nadine Angerer, Goalkeeper for Germany

Angerer retired in 2011 after an amazing career.  Leaving behind a reputation for stopping penalty kicks, Angerer became a leading role model for goalkeepers.  “Nadine is such a leader on her team, a role model,” Former USA coach Tony DiCicco said.  DiCicco also had said Angerer didn’t display any weaknesses.

#9. Christine Sinclair, Forward for Canada

“I think she is the best all-around player in the world… I think that she is probably the most underrated player in the whole world,” American retired player Abby Wambach said. Sinclair has been one of the closest players to ever almost beat Wambach’s international goal scoring record of 184 goals. When Sinclair was entering the 2016 Rio Olympics, she had 162 goals within 230 games.  One of her most memorable moments was her hat-trick which occurred during the semifinals at the 2012 Olympics against the USA. Canada lost 4-3, but it was one of Sinclair’s best games.

#8. Kelly Smith, Forward for England

Smith, who retired at the age of 35 in 2015, became the first athlete in any sport to ever be named the Big East Offensive Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year in the same season.  During Smith’s college career, she had made a remarkable 76 goals in 51 matches, which brought her through her career in the USA.  She played pro, semi-pro, and amatur for the USA before returning to England to continue her career, where Smith helped England qualify for their first Women’s World Cup in 2007.

#7. Homare Sawa, Forward for Japan

Sawa had an amazing international career from 1993 to 2015.  Sawa retired at the age of 37 in 2015, but was one of the best players to ever play for Japan. Sawa broke two records for Japan by scoring 83 goals in 204 appearances; that is the most appearances and goals from any Japanese player. Sawa was often overshadowed by the other players, but she had the best ball skills on the team. She scored the goal that tied the World Cup game against the USA in 2011. She took home the Golden Ball and Golden Boot award and was named 2011 FIFA player of the year.  

#6. Abby Wambach, Forward for the USA

Wambach has been compared to a battering ram because she played as if her body was invincible. Wambach always went for any header opportunity she had. One of Wambach’s best goal was scored in stoppage time of the 2011 World Cup quarter-finals against Brazil. Wambach scored the goal off of a header which FIFA later declared to be the greatest Women’s World Cup goal. In 2012, FIFA declared her player of the year. Wambach retired late in 2016 with a record of 184 international goals in 224 matches, along with 75 assists. A third of the goals she scored were headers.

#5. Sun Wen, Forward for China

Wen’s team always turned to her when they needed a goal. Wen always provided by connecting 106 goals in 152 matches. At the 1999 World Cup, Wen was awarded the Golden Boot and Golden Ball award. Wen proved that she had amazing skills when she made a goal from a 32-yard free kick, winning the game against the USA. This was Wen’s first major tournament win.

#4. Birgit Prinz, Forward/Attacking Midfielder for Germany

Prinz retired at the age 34 in 2011 after an outstanding career. Being Germany’s player of the year eight years in a row, Prinz’s trophy case was overflowing. Prinz also received three FIFA World Player of the Year honors in 2002, 2003, and 2004. In Prinz’s international debut at age 16, she scored the game winning goal in the 89th minute of the game (17 minutes after coming into the game as a substitute). She lead her team to victory in 2003 and 2007 when Germany won the World Cup. In 2003, she was awarded the Golden Ball and in 2007, she was awarded the Silver Ball. In 214 international appearances, Prinz connected with the net 128 times.  

#3. Michelle Akers, Forward/Defensive Midfielder for the USA

Akers left behind an amazing legacy by holding two positions on the team. In 1991, Akers scored the game winning shot in the World Cup against Norway. Akers’ career as a forward ended when she was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome in 1994. This is when Akers began her career as a defensive midfielder, preventing goals rather than scoring them. Akers helped her team to Gold in the 1996 Olympics and the World Cup title in 1999. Akers was named FIFA’s female player of the 20th century, along with China’s Sun Wen. Akers retired at the age of 34 just before the 2000 Olympics. Akers finished her career with 105 goals in 153 international games and was later inducted into the National Soccer Hall Of Fame

#2. Mia Hamm, Forward for the USA

Hamm finished her career with 158 international goals when she retired in 2004. Hamm was known for her way of play. Hamm was a forward but often played like she was a midfielder. If Hamm had the opportunity, she would go for goal, but if not, she would set up her teammates like a midfielder would do. Hamm won FIFA’s Player of the Year award in 2001 and 2002. As a member of the National Soccer Hall Of Fame, Hamm also lead the team to victory in the World Cup in 1991 and 1999.  

#1. Marta, Forward for Brazil

Marta Vieira da Silva is the world’s best female soccer player ever. She has been picked as FIFA’s female world player 5 years in a row (2006-2010).  Marta also won the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot in 2007. She is known for her spectacular ball skills and being able to run right by a defender to make a goal. She has earned the all-time best player ever to play.

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