The 2023 Women's World Cup wrapped up on August 20th, with Spain being crowned the Queens of the world after defeating England 1-0. While much of the tournament is currently overshadowed by the unfortunate turn of events with the Spanish FA, the big takeaway should be the exposure of these amazing players to the world, as well as the growth of the game. Here are my top 5 players from the tournament:
5 stars - Aitana Bonmati (FC Barcelona) Spain @aitana.bonmati
Player of the tournament, World Cup winner and midfield maestro, Bonmati has been lighting up the stage since her days at Barcelona began. UEFA Champions League winner, Liga F (Spain) champion, and Spanish Supercopa winner, Aitana is a well-decorated player who continues to show the world just how good she is. She scored three goals and recorded two assists in 7 matches during the World Cup.
4 stars - Mary Earps (Manchester United) England @1maryearps
Golden Glove winner Mary Earps has cemented her name as one of the best female goalkeepers in the world. From saving a penalty in the World Cup final to keeping three clean sheets in the tournament, she has been the headline of many matches since the world came to appreciate her during the UEFA Women's Euros in 2022. She won the Golden Glove in the 2022-23 Women's Super League (England) for best goalie and helped secure the Champions League for Manchester United this upcoming season.
3 stars - Alex Greenwood (Manchester City) England @alexgreenwood5
Another star-studded player from England, however she plays for the opposite Manchester club, Alex Greenwood. Greenwood recorded the most successful amount of passes, 542, during the tournament while playing on the left side of a defensive back three. She plays club soccer for the blue side of Manchester and played 21 matches during the 22-23 season, picking up three assists. City just missed out on the Champions League by goal differential between them and Arsenal.
2 stars - Zećira Mušović (Chelsea) Sweden @zeciramusovic
Yet another goalkeeper stunned us all at the World Cup. Mušović led her team to a semi-final against Spain and kept a clean sheet in the bronze medal game against the co-hosts Australia. Her most significant standout performance was the round of 16 game against the USA where she kept another clean sheet, made some huge saves, and helped beat the USA in penalties. Zećira plays for the current WSL league winner, Chelsea and will play in the Champions League again this season.
1 star - Linda Caicedo (Real Madrid) Columbia @linda_caicedo11
This teenager showed that age really is just a number. The 18-year-old, who recently signed with Real Madrid, lit up the world stage. She recorded two goals and one assist in 5 games during the tournament and showed off her fancy footwork many times. Caicedo helped Columbia reach the quarter-finals against England, where they fell just short after a 2-1 defeat. This was her country’s best-ever finish at a World Cup.
In a month, these ladies showed the world how big this sport is and how vital the recognition is. Now you know where some of them play and what teams they play for. Don’t let the tournament that comes around once every four years be your only exposure to women's soccer; watch what these women do every day and see how talented they are!