Women’s football has steadily been growing in popularity across the globe over the last several years, with the sport being more popular in the USA with females than males who are traditionally associated with the sport.
In the Far East, the game has become hugely popular after Nadeshiko Japan’s surprising triumph over USA in the 2011 FIFA Women’s Cup Final. In the next edition just last year, the Americans took revenge – a 5-2 thrashing in the final with a hat-trick from Carli Lloyd which included a memorable lob from virtually the half-way line to beat the Japanese keeper.
The women’s game perhaps, unfairly, has never been synonymous with beautiful athletes like swimming, tennis, or gymnastics, but we think there should be more recognition for the wonderful women that play the world’s most popular sport.
So, with that, this list is one that pays homage to all the beautiful athletes that play our game.
20. Jonelle Filigno (Canada)
We think that Jonelle Filigno looks more like a model that a football player, but she certainly is a talented one, having picked up a Bronze medal with Canada at the 2012 London Olympics.
Still only 25-years-old, Filigno has 71 caps as well as 11 goals for the Canadian women’s team after picking up her first senior cap when she was 17. She also played for the Canadians at the 2008 Olympics and the FIFA Women’s World Cup in both 2011 and 2015.
Filigno represents Adidas as one of their athletes – a wise choice by the company as we’re sure her good looks and slender figure can help shift some of their products!
19. Ali Riley (New Zealand)
The American-born New Zealand international is currently playing in the Damallsvenskan – Sweden’s highest level of women’s football for FC Rosengård. The defender/midfielder has won the championship for the last three seasons.
Despite being born and raised in America, Riley represents New Zealand at international level and has 95 caps for the kiwis to date.
18. Sandra Betschart (Switzerland)
Swiss beauty Sandra Betschart has represented the national team since 2007 having picked up her first cap as a youngster against the tiny European nation of Malta. To date, she has 66 caps and remains an integral part of the Swiss team that is hoping to qualify for the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017, which will be held in the Netherlands.
Betschart has played football in her native Switzerland, Sweden and Germany since becoming a professional.We think you’ll agree that the blonde defender fully justifies her inclusion on the list.
17. Anouk Hoogendijk (Netherlands)
Anouk Hoogendijk is a Dutch footballer that current plays for the Ajax women’s team in Amsterdam – the capital of her homeland. He has so far split her club career between the Netherlands and England – transferring between several clubs in both countries on numerous occasions.
The 31-year-old defender/central midfielder has already represented the Netherlands 102 times after winning her first cap against Japan in 2004 and is expected to add to that figure over the coming seasons.
As well as being a decent footballer, he also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. Beauty and brains – a winning combination!
16. Alexia Putellas (Spain)
At just 22-years-old, Spanish attacking midfielder Alexia Putellas has already become an important player for both club and country. The Catalan beauty represented Spain at the 2015 Women’s World Cup, however, she couldn’t save the Europeans from the humiliation of finishing bottom of their group.
At club level, Putellas plays for FC Barcelona and is already highly decorated after winning several championships and cups during her time with the club.
15. Jessica Landström (Sweden)
Jessica Landström is a Swedish striker that has scored 19 goals in 64 games for the national team to date. Although she didn’t represent the Scandinavians at least year’s World Cup, she is still very highly rated.
As well as having a good international career, Landström has also been successful at club level having picked-up numerous trophies at club level both in her native homeland and Germany where she played for FFC Frankfurt.
14. Natalie Vinti (Mexico)
Although Natalie Vinti was born in the United States, Mexico recruited the University of San Diego defender to play for their national team.
The 28-year old played as a defender for the Mexicans at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany and according to her LinkedIn profile, now works for a start-up called Fitbit in the San Francisco Bay area.
13. Toni Duggan (England)
The 24-year-old English stunner has represented the national team a total of 27 times including appearances at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup where England lost out to Japan in the semi-finals.
Duggan plays her club football with Manchester City in the Women’s Premier League after transferring from her home-town club of Everton Ladies in 2013.
The forward made a ‘schoolboy’ error in 2015 after posing in a photo with a smiling Louis van Gaal – just hours after the Manchester United manager had defeated Manchester City 4-2 in Manchester derby.
12. Rumi Utsugi (Japan)
Rumi Utsugi is the only Japanese player to make it onto the list and the 27-year-old defensive midfielder is by far the cutest of the Nadeshiko Japan squad!
Utsugi is an prominent member for both club and country with a total of 86 caps for her national team, which includes a World Cup winners medal from 2011 plus a runner-up medal from the 2015 edition.
Utsugi plays her club football in France after dominating Japanese women’s football with her club NTV Beleza alongside former Japanese captain Homare Sawa.
11. Hope Solo (USA)
Perhaps the most recognizable player on the list is American goalkeeper Hope Solo. The two-time Olympic gold medallist and World Cup winner has kept goal for the United States since 2000 and has picked up 194 caps to date.
Not only is she widely regarded as one of the top goalkeepers in the women’s game, but she’s also a philanthropist, often raising money for charitable causes. And not to mention very good looking to boot.
10. Louisa Nécib (France)
29-year-old Louisa Nécib is a highly talented playmaker, not to mention extremely good looking. The French international has 130 caps for her country to date and is hugely decorated at club level with her club Lyon.
Nécib has drawn comparisons to Zinedine Zidane with the French media labelling her “the female Zidane.” Not only does she have Algerian ancestry like Zidane, but she grew up in the same city of Marseille and possesses immense ball control, skill and an eye for goal.
9. Amanda Ilestedt (Sweden)
After making her international debut against England in May of 2011, Amanda Ilestedt much be one of the most anticipated names that are read out when the Swedish national team coach Pia Sundhage names her squad – and her good looks aren’t hurting that face either.
Since breaking into the team in 2011, Ilestedt, who plays in defence, has gone on to win a further 10 caps in total and helped the Scandinavian nation reach the round of 16 at last year’s World Cup in Canada.
8. Sydney Leroux (USA)
Sydney Leroux Dwyer is a Canadian-born United States international who has scored 35 goals in 75 appearances for the national team. Leroux has an Olympic gold medal to her name as well as being a World Cup winner after helping her team win last year’s tournament.
Off the field, she has appeared in several of ESPN’s magazines most notably ‘The Body Issue’ in 2013 where she appeared semi-nude and the front cover of the May 2015 edition alongside her national team team-mates.
Leroux is married to English footballer Dom Dwyer who is currently plays for Sporting Kansas City and recently announced that she was expecting their first child in September 2016.
7. Laure Boulleau (France)
29-year-old Laure Boulleau is a French defender who plays for both Paris Saint-Germain and the French national team. The blonde beauty made her France debut against the Netherlands in 2005 and has gone on to represent the team at both the 2011 and 2015 Women’s World Cups in Germany and Canada respectively.
As well as playing for one of the best women’s club teams in France, she was also a model for Nike’s hugely popular 2011 “Live for the Game” campaign in her home country, where she starred on posters and in commercials for the company.
6. Selina Wagner (Germany)
If this was a list of the best female footballers, Wagner probably wouldn’t make the list, but since it isn’t, she makes it due to her good looks! The 25-year-old is yet to be capped by the senior German team but she has represented them at various levels throughout her career.
The male audience are probably more interested in the fact she modelled in the German Playboy a few years ago alongside some of her team-mates ahead of the 2011 World Cup.
5. Zhao Lina (China)
Standing at 6’2″, Zhao Lina may have an imposing figure but her sheer beauty has melted hearts all across Asia. The Chinese international shot-stopper was relatively unknown before being called up for last year’s World Cup, but has now become an online star thanks to her good looks.
Perhaps she will become the next superstar of the women’s game?
4. Adriana Leon (Canada)
Adriana Leon is just another one of the both beautiful and talented ladies that represent the Canadian national team. The 23-year-old Mississauga, ON native currently plays on the National Women’s Soccer League for the Chicago Red Stars and has been a full international since 2013 after her debut against China.
The model-like midfielder has represented Canada at various levels since 2009 and we hope she will continue playing for the team long into the future after becoming an important part of the national set-up.
3. Alex Morgan (USA)
Californian beauty Alex Morgan has already picked up 108 caps for the USA women’s team at the grand old age of 26! Since making her debut against Mexico in 2010, she has bagged an incredible 64 goals at international level.
Morgan is currently playing her club football with Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer League after being traded to the newly formed expansion team in October 2015.
Not only is she a superb footballer, but she is also a talented writer after releasing a series called ‘The Kicks’ which is a four part series aimed at middle school kids.
2. Laisa Andrioli (Brazil)
Laisa Andrioli is a Brazilian footballer who is probably more well-known for her activities off the field than on it. She is known for her attractive figure and success in her modelling career, where she has even posed naked!
According to her Twitter page, Andrioli is currently looking for opportunities to play, so perhaps her footballing skills aren’t quite as good as her modelling ones…
1. Kosovare Asllani (Sweden)
Coming in at number one on the list is Kosovare Asllani who is a forward for the Swedish international team. Asllani who is of Kosovar-Albanian descent grew up in the Scandinavian country and due to her footballing abilities and background has drawn comparisons to another famous Balkan-Swede… Zlatan Ibrahimović.
26-year-old Asllani has 21 goals in 80 internationals for Sweden and has just signed for Manchester City in the Women’s Premier League after a four-year stint in France with Paris Saint-Germain.
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