Today we’re taking a look at the oldest players in World Cup history, including the oldest player on the US Women’s soccer team in 2023 and the oldest players representing their countries at the 2023 World Cup. 

A few of these remarkable women have enjoyed long and highly successful careers, playing a crucial role in paving the way for their home nations to thrive and make their mark in the world of women's soccer. These are the names that women’s soccer fans will have grown to love, appearing in record numbers of World Cup tournaments for their countries.

If you’d like to know more about the women’s game, these are the ten best women’s soccer players you must watch during the women’s World Cup in 2023.

Who is the oldest player in the Women’s World Cup 2023 team rosters?

At the age of 40, both Canada's legendary superstar Christine Sinclair and Nigeria's captain Onome Ebi are set to travel to the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Obi is the oldest of the two as she is just over a month older than Sinclair, making her the oldest player in this year’s women’s World Cup.

Who is the oldest player in the USWNT World Cup 2023 roster?

This year, Megan Rapinoe is the oldest of the USWNT players, playing in her fourth World Cup at the age of 38.

Rapinoe won the Golden Ball and Golden Boot awards at the 2019 tournament as the best player on the pitch, helping her country to back-to-back World Cup titles in the process.

The USWNT are among the favorites to win the women’s World Cup again in 2023, hunting a three-peat!

Who is the oldest player to ever win a Women’s World Cup?

Christie Rampone became the oldest player to play in a Women’s World Cup final when she featured for the USWNT in 2015. When they won, she also became the oldest to win the tournament at the age of 40.

What is the average age of the 2023 Women’s World Cup Players?

The average age of the players at the Women’s World Cup 2023 is 26.4, with varying ages across the 32 squads.

Korea Republic have the oldest squad with an average age of 28.9, closely followed by the Republic of Ireland at 28.5 and the USWNT at 28.3

Haiti boasts the youngest squad in the competition, with an average age of 22.3. Zambia are second at 23.5, and they’re the only two teams under an average age of 24.

The 10 Oldest Players to play in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in history

  1. Elisabeth Leidinge

Oldest Age while playing at the WWC: 38
Nationality: Sweden
Club Teams: GIF Sundsvall, Jitex BK, Malmo FF Dam
Position: Goalkeeper
Years Active: 1974-1995

Elisabeth Leidinge started in goal for Sweden in the 1995 Women’s World Cup and is marginally the oldest Swedish women’s soccer player.

Leidinge narrowly beat out Therese Sjogran in 2015, when she also appeared for Sweden at the age of 38. Leidinge happened to be slightly further into her 38th year.

The Swedish goalkeeper earned 112 caps for her country and made her debut in only the third ever game played by the Swedish women's team. Her exceptional performance in the 1991 World Cup established her as one of the finest goalkeepers in the tournament, contributing to Sweden's impressive third-place finish.

  1. Jenny Bindon

Oldest Age while playing at the WWC: 38
Nationality: New Zealand
Club Teams: Three Kings United, Glenfield Rovers, Bay Olympic, Hibiscus Coast
Position: Goalkeeper
Years Active: 2004-2014 

Jenny Bindon made 77 appearances for New Zealand in her international career, featuring at both the 2007 and 2011 World Cups.

She is American-born but chose to represent New Zealand at the international level, spending over a decade with the Football Ferns.

At the age of 38, Bindon started in all three group stage games at the 2011 World Cup, and she also held the distinction of being the oldest women's soccer player at the 2012 Olympic Games.

There was a chance that she would make it all the way to the 2015 World Cup, mentioning on multiple occasions that she would keep going as long as she was enjoying the sport and her body held up. Unfortunately, she retired in 2014, just one year away from the competition. Had she competed and played, she would be the oldest female soccer player in World Cup history.

  1. Ingrid Hjelmseth

Oldest age while playing at the WWC: 39
Nationality: Norway
Club Teams: Trondheims-Orn, Asker, Stabaek
Position: Goalkeeper
Years Active: 2003-2019 

Ingrid Hjelmseth was the starting goalkeeper for the Norwegian national team for over a decade. She made her debut in 2003 and went on to play in 138 games for her country.

At the 2019 women’s World Cup, Hjelmseth started all three group stage games as she helped Norway to qualify for the knockout rounds. In the round of sixteen they faced Australia, and it was Hjemlseth who saved a penalty from Emily Gielnek that would ultimately lead to a Norway win.

During her international career, she was one of the standout players at the 2013 European Cup and represented her country in multiple Olympic Games.

  1. Perpetua Nkwocha

Oldest age while playing at the WWC: 39
Nationality: Nigeria
Club Teams: Sunnana SK
Position: Midfielder
Years Active: 1999-2015 

Perpetua Nkwocha is one of the most important female athletes in Nigerian soccer history, and led her team to wealth of success in the women’s African Cup of Nations.

With the competition taking place every two years, Nkwocha was able to represent Nigeria at seven competitions, and helped her country to win five of them.

Her contributions played a vital role in elevating Nigeria to become one of the most consistent and successful teams in African women's soccer, leading to their qualification for the World Cup four times.

Nkwocha’s appearance in the 2015 Women’s World Cup made her the oldest Nigerian player to play at a World Cup, and one of the oldest players in women’s World Cup history.

As one of the leaders of her generation, Nkwocha was voted the African Women’s Footballer of the Year four times, earning the award in 2004, 2005, 2010 and 2011.

  1. Meg

Oldest age while playing at the WWC: 39
Nationality: Brazil
Club Teams: EC Radar, CR Vasco de Gama
Position: Goalkeeper
Years Active: 1991-1996

Meg’s sporting career actually got started in handball, playing as a goalkeeper for the women’s national team in the 1980s. She had moved to Rio de Janeiro to play handball, and while there she took up soccer and beach soccer.

Eventually, she gave up soccer to focus solely on her handball career, and even rejected a call up from the Brazilian national soccer team in 1988.

Three years later she returned when she was called up to the 1991 Women’s World Cup tournament. She started in goal for Brazil in the very first competition, and four years later she was in goal once again, this time at the age of 39.

Meg had spent several years away from soccer, only to return in her 30s and represent her country at two World Cups. She had returned to soccer with the dream of making the Olympic Games, which she accomplished at the 1996 games, aged 40.

  1. Vanina Correa

Oldest age while playing in the WWC: 39
Nationality: Argentina
Club Teams: Rosario Central, Banfield, Boca Juniors, Renato Cesarini, Social Lux, San Lorenzo, Espanyol
Position: Goalkeeper
Years Active: 2003-Present 

Vanina Correa has been the starting goalkeeper for Argentina since their very first World Cup appearance in 2007. Their debut match was far from the ideal outcome, losing 11-0 against one of the best teams in the world, Germany.

Correa has continued to represent her country through the Olympic games and multiple World Cup tournaments, and when she played in Argentina’s opening game of the Women’s World Cup 2023, she officially became one of the oldest professional soccer players in women’s soccer history.

The Argentinian goalkeeper is among the oldest active female soccer players, and is playing in her third World Cup competition. She likely would have featured in five, but Argentina failed to qualify in both 2011 and 2015.

In 2019, Correa earned a wealth of respect for the way she played against England. The pundits and commentators were singing her praises, allowing just one goal, and making several key saves in the match.

  1. Christie Rampone

Oldest age while playing in the WWC: 40
Nationality: USA
Club Teams: Central Jersey Splash, Buffalo Ffillies, New Jersey Lady Stallions, New York Power, Sky Blue FC, magicJack
Position: Center Back
Years Active: 1997-2015

Christie Rampone made a stunning 311 appearances for the USWNT, and appeared in five World Cup competitions between 1999 and 2015.

During the 2015 tournament, she made history as the oldest USWNT player in World Cup history. Furthermore, her name was etched into the record books when they won the competition, as she became the oldest female player to ever win the World Cup.

Rampone was a mainstay in the USWNT World Cup roster for two decades, and her experience over the years helped the squad to compete at the very highest level.

She holds the third-highest number of international caps among all U.S. women's soccer players, with two World Cup victories and three Olympic Gold medals in 2004, 2008, and 2012.

Before Formiga's participation in 2019, Rampone held the distinction of being the oldest player to feature in women's soccer World Cup history.

  1. Christine Sinclair

Oldest age while playing in the WWC: 40
Nationality: Canada
Club Teams: Vancouver Breakers, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, FC Gold Pride, Western New York Flash, Portland Thorns
Position: Striker
Years Active: 2000-Present 

Christine Sinclair is very nearly the oldest current women’s soccer player, but narrowly comes in second place at the 2023 women’s World Cup tournament.

Sinclair is an iconic striker and undoubtedly the most influential player on the Canadian women’s soccer roster. She has 324 caps for her country, and with 190 goals she is the all-time leader in international goals scored by either a male or female soccer player in history.

The legendary striker has been named the Canadian Soccer Player of the Year a stunning 14 times, and is already a member of the Canadian Walk of Fame. At the 2023 World Cup she will represent her country once again, making it the sixth tournament she has played in.

  1. Oneme Ebi

Oldest age while playing in the WWC: 40
Nationality: Nigeria
Club Teams: Omidiran Babes, Bayelsa Queens, Pitea, Djurgarden, Duvenciler Lisesispor, Atasehir Belediyespor, Sunnana SK, FC Minsk, Henan Jianye, Levante Las Planas
Position: Centre Back
Years Active: 2003-Present 

Oneme Ebi holds the title of being the oldest female soccer player at the 2023 tournament, and she is one of two players competing at the age of 40, alongside the previously mentioned Christine Sinclair.

Ebi has featured for her country since 2003, and in 2019 she became the first African Footballer male or female to feature in five World Cup tournaments. When she was announced in the squad for the 2023 tournament, she made it six.

Having featured for her country for so many years, Ebi is one of the most decorated Nigerian soccer players in history. She has played in African Cup of Nations tournaments, and won four of them, with success coming in 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2018.

  1. Formiga

Oldest age while playing in the WWC: 41
Nationality: Brazil
Club Teams: Euroexport, Saad, Sao Paolo, Portuguesa, Santa Isabel, Santa Cruz, Santos, Independente, Malmo FF Dam, New Jersey Wildcats, Jersey Sky Blue, Botucatu, FC Gold Pride, Chicago Red Stars, Sao Jose, America de Natal, Sao Francisco de Conde, Paris Saint Germain
Position: Midfielder
Years Active: 1993-2021 

Formiga is one of the most experienced women’s soccer players in history, featuring 234 times for Brazil between 1995 and 2021.

She holds a remarkable record as the only player in history, male or female, to participate in seven World Cup tournaments and seven Olympic Games. Her journey began as a member of the 1995 World Cup squad when she came on as a substitute at the age of just 17, and she continued to be a part of the Brazil squad at every tournament in between, scoring two goals from midfield during that time.

Formiga had a diverse career in domestic soccer, playing in Brazil, Sweden, the United States, and France. Although she retired in 2016, she made a comeback in 2018 and showcased her talents once again in the 2019 Women's World Cup.

In 2015, a goal against South Korea made Formiga the oldest goalscorer in women’s World Cup history at the age of 37. She helped Brazil to the women’s final in 2007 against Germany, and a third-place finish in 1999.

Formiga is one of the most memorable Brazil women’s national soccer team players, and one of the most iconic in women’s soccer history.

Parameters for Rankings

This list of the oldest women’s soccer players, including the oldest United States Women’s National soccer player and the oldest World Cup tournament winner, have been ranked based on their date of birth.

The listed players are those who have either played or still have the opportunity to play in the World Cup. Some other players in their late 30s have made their squads but have not yet featured in the tournament.

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