Written by Oluwaseun Oyediji
Players of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup champions, Spain dominated the list of shortlisted players for the 2023 FIFA Best Women’s Player of the Year award released on Thursday.
FIFA Women’s World Cup award winners Aitana Bonmati, Hinata Miyazawa, and Salma Paralluelo are among 16 players on The Best FIFA Women’s Player shortlist.
FIFA Women’s World Cup stars dominate the 16-player shortlist.
The winner will be announced at The Best FIFA Football Awards.
Aitana Bonmati who won FIFA Women’s World Cup Golden Ball winner and UEFA Women’s Champions League Player of the Season has enjoyed a dream year and made the nominees list.
The Colombia prodigy, Linda Caicedo justified all the pre-World Cup hype by lighting up the group stage in Australia and New Zealand, scoring on her tournament debut before adding a sumptuous effort against Germany that was subsequently voted Goal of the Tournament was a no brainier in making the nominees list.
The versatile England star, Rachel Daly has been a Lionesses lynchpin at left-back, and enjoyed a year to remember at centre-forward, finishing the 2022/2023 campaign as the FA Women’s Super League (WSL’s) top scorer and Player of the Season making her a worthy nominee for the award.
Winner of the Adidas Silver Boot and scorer of France’s first-ever Women’s World Cup hat-trick, Kadidatou Diani, a prolific centre-forward also enjoyed a standout season at the club level, picking up the Division 1 Feminine’s top goalscorer and best player awards which ranked her as one of the best in the world.
Arsenal star, Caitlin Foord was outstanding in Australia’s run to the Women’s World Cup semi-finals, stepping up to lead the Matildas’ attack when talisman Sam Kerr suffered her pre-tournament calf injury.
A colossus in central defence for England during their run to the Women’s World Cup final, the Manchester City star, Alex Greenwood also helped the Lionesses win the 2023 Finalissima.
Another player who excelled for the Aussies on home soil was Mary Fowler. The 20-year-old became the youngest player to score a World Cup goal for the Matildas in over a decade.
Recipient of the Adidas Silver Ball award and, Jennifer Hernoso of course, a Women’s World Cup winner’s medal, the veteran attacker provided three goals, and two assists and made an invaluable contribution to Spain’s success on the global stage.
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The midfielder, Lindsey Horan captained USA at the Women’s Cup and was widely seen as the team’s outstanding player. She had come into the tournament high on confidence, having won the league, cup, and Trophée des Championnes with her French club, Lyon.
Winner of the adidas Bronze Ball award at the Women’s World Cup, the centre-back, Amanda Ilestedt emerged as an unlikely scoring star, contributing four goals as Sweden claimed yet another medal.
A double winner with Chelsea, this exciting forward, Lauren James also emerged as a key player for her national team, providing three goals and as many assists in the Lionesses’ run to the Women’s World Cup final.
The prolific striker, Sam Kerr scored 29 goals for Chelsea for the second successive season, inspiring the club to a league and cup double and earning herself a second straight FWA Women’s Footballer of the Year award. While injury disrupted her Women’s World Cup, the Australia captain did return to score an unforgettable goal in her team’s semi-final against England.
The stylish centre-back, Mapi Leon was another key player Barcelona team that swept all before them in 2023 and was named in the Women’s Champions League’s Team of the Season.
The Japan midfielder, Hinata Miyazawa emerged as unlikely and impressive Adidas Golden Boot winner at the Women’s World Cup, scoring five and assisting another to average a goal involvement every 56 minutes.
A deserving winner of the Best Young Player Award at the Women’s World Cup, Salama Paralluelo emerged as a key figure in Spain’s title-winning campaign. Before becoming La Roja’s youngest-ever goalscorer at the global finals, she had also helped Barcelona conquer Europe and win a fourth successive Liga title.
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