Football transcends gender boundaries, relying on teamwork and unwavering determination. With such qualities, anyone can shine brightly regardless of their gender.
The progression of women in football has been gradual, but it fosters hopes that women can command the same level of dominance and recognition as their male counterparts.
In 2023, the popularity of women’s football has reached unprecedented heights, especially with the fast-approaching World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand.
It should be acknowledged that women in football have consistently showcased remarkable players who have made an indelible impact on the sport, shattering numerous records.
Here are the top five greatest players of all time;
With remarkable dodging skills and an unparalleled ability to score goals, Marta, the former Brazilian forward, is regarded as the greatest female footballer the world has ever seen.
Often referred to as Pele in skirts, Marta has left her mark on the stage and holds the title of being the first footballer, regardless of gender, to score in five different World Cups.
Surpassing Pele and other Brazilian players, the 37-year-old footballer boasts a remarkable record of 109 goals in 155 international matches, the highest in Brazilian football history.
Dois Riachos-born player holds the record for the most goals scored in FIFA World Cup history, with 17 goals, and has also earned silver medals at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.
Hamm, an exceptional forward, displayed midfielder-like skills on the field, maneuvering past defenders and scoring remarkable goals. She holds the record for 144 assists.
In her illustrious career, Hamm earned 275 caps and scored 158 international goals for the US, winning two FIFA World Cups, two Olympic gold medals, and a silver medal in 2000.
Before announcing her retirement in 2004, the 51-year-old player was honored as the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year in 2001 and 2002. She is now the owner of the club.
Michelle Anne Akers
Michelle Akers, a prominent member of the dominant USA female football team in the 90s, was a lethal striker who excelled both as a forward and as a defensive midfielder.
With her impressive speed and height, she easily outpaced defenders, and her most remarkable performance came in the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where she scored 10 goals.
Despite being diagnosed with Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, Michelle Akers adapted her role to become a defensive midfielder and later led her country to victory in 1999.
In recognition of her dedication to the game, FIFA honored her with the Order of Merit, their highest award, and she also became a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
Known for her lethal scoring ability, Birgit Prinz is an eight-time German Female Footballer of the Year and the second-highest goal scorer in the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Prinz achieved success with the German team, winning the 2003 and 2007 World Cups, earning the Golden Ball and Silver Ball, respectively. She has also won 19 domestic trophies.
Birgit Prinz retired from professional football in 2011 at the age of 34 and transitioned into the role of a sports physiologist for Hoffenheim’s men’s and women’s teams.
Kelly Smith, the leading goal scorer for England, enjoyed an impressive international career spanning two decades, with 46 goals in 115 caps, despite numerous injuries.
Making history, Kelly Smith became the first athlete, across all sports, to be named Big East Offensive Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year in a single season.
Showcasing her exceptional skills, Smith’s contributions helped England secure their inaugural World Cup qualification in 2007, and she also participated in the 2011 tournament.