Women’s World Cup 2023: Top 10 Best Women’s Soccer Players you must watch
Here are the 10 best FIFA Women’s World Cup players to watch throughout the tournament.
Get ready for an exhilarating 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup. To help set the mood, we present the top 10 players to watch during the tournament.
How many players are on the Women’s World Cup rosters in 2023?
Each 2023 Women’s World Cup squad will include 23 players, three of whom are goalkeepers. Earlier in the year, each nation named its preliminary squad of 25 or more players, which was then reduced to the final 23.
Some nations had to call upon their short list of reserve players due to late injuries. Those teams included Germany, Denmark, France, and Brazil.
Which player has the most Women’s World Cup appearances?
Kristine Lilly, a retired American player, holds the impressive record of 30 World Cup appearances. She is also the most capped women's soccer player in history with a remarkable 354 appearances for her country.
Which player has scored the most goals in FIFA Women’s World Cup history?
Brazilian striker Marta holds the record for the most World Cup goals, having scored 17 times for her country over five Women’s World Cup tournaments.
Marta is one of the all-time greatest women’s soccer players and will perform in her sixth Women’s World Cup this year at age 37. She made her World Cup debut as a 17-year-old in 2003.
A prolific striker, Marta is an iconic figure in Brazil and the leader of the Brazil women’s national soccer team. Her teammates are determined to win this year’s World Cup so she can go out a champion in what is likely her final trip to the tournament.
The Top 10 Women’s Soccer Players to Watch during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup
- Fridolina Rolfo
Positions: Left wing, Left back
Fridolina Rolfo, who plays for Barcelona in Spain, is one of the most creative players on the Swedish team. She is also one of the most intelligent and creative wingers in the game.
With fearless determination, Rolfo skillfully takes on opponents down the left side, effortlessly creating space and outmaneuvering defenders to drive her team forward. A keen sense of the game and powerful left foot make her a formidable force whenever she decides to take a shot on goal.
Upon joining Barcelona, Rolfo transitioned from the left wing to the left back position, but she remains a crucial component of the team’s attack, skillfully advancing down the left-hand side. When she competes for Sweden, we expect to see her play a more attacking role like the one she once played for Wolfsburg. She’s certainly capable of producing a magical moment at any given time.
- Alex Morgan
Club: San Diego Wave
This will be Alex Morgan’s fourth World Cup competition, and the longtime American star is one of the most important figures on the USWNT roster. Morgan leads the squad from the front as a co-captain and is one of the USA’s most respected players with more World Cup goals than anyone else on the team.
There are some very talented young USWNT players coming up through the ranks to perform on the international stage. Expect to see players such as Sophia Smith and Trinity Rodman join Morgan in wreaking havoc on opponents during this tournament.
Morgan has an impressive total of 121 goals in 207 international appearances. Given her fine performance for the San Diego Wave, which has seen her score 20 goals in 28 games since 2022, Morgan is expected to continue adding to her scoring totals at the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
One of the most eagerly anticipated games of the tournament will be the showdown between the USWNT and the Netherlands -- a rematch of the 2019 Women’s World Cup final -- during this year's group stage. You can read more about that match in our ranking of the 10 Best FIFA Women’s World Cup Group Stage Games to Watch.
- Alexandra Popp
Positions: Striker, Attacking midfielder
Alexandra Popp has been a staple of the German international team since 2010, scoring 62 goals in 128 appearances for her country.
A true champion, Popp has an impressive track record with seven Bundesliga titles in Germany, a Champions League title, and an Olympic gold medal. Her aggressive style of play and relentless dedication on the field strike fear in opponents, making her a formidable force with which to reckon.
Germany has a younger starting lineup at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, so Popp’s experience and on-field leadership will be crucial to her team’s success. The Germans are currently second in the women’s FIFA rankings and are among the favorites to win the Women’s World Cup tournament.
- Caroline Graham Hansen
Position: Right wing
Caroline Graham Hansen is one of the most thrilling wingers set to compete in the 2023 Women’s World Cup. She consistently terrifies full backs at the club level with Barcelona and played a pivotal role in Barcelona's Champions League victory this season by causing constant trouble from the right-hand side.
Her ability to fearlessly drift inside and excel in tight spaces through the middle makes
Graham Hansen a player who should have fans on the edge of their seats whenever she touches the ball at this World Cup. She has superb close control, can beat a defender in several different ways, and is dangerous with both feet.
Those needing any confirmation of just how good she is should check out the goal she scored against Chelsea in the Champions League this season.
The Norwegians are one of the Women’s World Cup sleepers this year, and Graham Hansen is a key reason for that.
- Lena Oberdorf
Position: Defensive midfielder
It’s crazy to think that Lena Oberdorf is still only 21 years old, considering the fact that she has been a regular on the German national team since 2019. Already one of the best women's soccer players in the world, Oberdorf continues to improve as a young talent.
She plays a typical defensive midfielder role for her country, sweeping up in front of the back four and canceling out opposition attacks with her exceptional positioning and soccer IQ.
Oberdorf understands the game unbelievably well and can often be the reason that Germany’s team is so difficult to break down. She also continues to be one of the key players for Wolfsburg, and her performance will be crucial to Germany’s World Cup success in New Zealand and Australia.
- Ada Hegerberg
Club: Olympique Lyonnais
Ada Hegerberg is another one of Norway’s standout talents at this year’s Women’s World Cup. She will team up with Caroline Graham Hansen for her country in its bid to dethrone the Americans.
Hegerberg was a part of a long-standing disagreement with the Norwegian Football Federation that led to her refusing to play for Norway because its overall treatment of the women’s national team. She didn’t play between 2017 and 2022, and only returned shortly before the Euro 2022 competition.
With Hegerberg back in action, the Norwegians have a real belief in themselves and a team that features multiple on-field threats. Hegerberg, who won the inaugural Ballon d'Or Feminin in 2018 with 53 goals for Lyon, has an impressive total of 158 goals in 139 appearances for her French club. Hegerberg is one of the top players at this tournament and could prove to be a very valuable World Cup asset for the Norwegians.
- Sophia Smith
Club: Portland Thorns
Those who watch women’s soccer religiously have witnessed the emergence of a new star in the NWSL over the past couple of seasons.
Sophia Smith was drafted with the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NWSL draft by the Portland Thorns, and she has been getting better and better with each passing year. Now 22, the young striker enters the 2023 World Cup having scored 10 goals in her last 12 domestic appearances. Her hat trick against the Washington Spirit this season was one of the highlights of her club career, and she’ll be looking to replicate that form in New Zealand and Australia.
Smith is perhaps the most exciting young United States Women’s National Team player right now, and she’s one of the favorites for the Golden Boot, along with teammate Alex Morgan. Together they could put enough goals away to lead the USWNT to the historic three-peat it hopes to achieve.
Women’s soccer fans who haven’t yet had a chance to watch Sophia Smith will surely enjoy her performance at this year’s World Cup. This might just be the competition that announces her to the world -- if she plays at the top of her game. Check out our Women’s World Cup Group Stage Predictions to learn about some of the early World Cup games involving Smith.
- Alexia Putellas
If she were completely healthy, Alexia Putellas would likely rank No. 1 on this list, but her fitness level remains uncertain going into the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
Playing for Barcelona, Putellas won the Ballon d’Or Feminin in back-to-back seasons in 2021 and 2022. Her 2021 season was one of the most outstanding performances by any player in women’s soccer history. Unfortunately, she tore her ACL in the summer of 2022 and has faced a long road to recovery ever since. Putellas missed most of the domestic season this year. Although she did play for Barcelona in its final six games, she had a minor role.
Her fitness is the only question mark, because she hasn’t played a full game since making her return, and this World Cup might come a little too soon for her to go full throttle.
However, regardless of her fitness, Alexia Putellas is one of women’s soccer's brightest stars, and there is always the potential for greatness when she is on the field. Putellas can flip the switch at any moment and is one of the most complete soccer players fans are ever likely to see.
According to a Spanish report, as a young girl Putellas was the ‘Maradona of the school playground’ and would run rings around the boys. Watching her play for Barcelona, it’s hard to argue with that characterization.
- Aitana Bonmati
Position: Center midfield
Aitana Bonmati is one of the most complete midfielders in women’s soccer, and her talent, along with that of Alexia Putellas and a few other standout players, enables Spain to boast some of the best Women’s World Cup odds in terms of its potential to win the entire tournament.
Bonmati must have watched Andres Iniesta while growing up, because the way she plays the game and controls the pace of play immediately makes you think of the Spanish Barcelona icon.
She’s the total package -- with ball control as good as you’ll ever see and a profound ability to escape crowded situations with clever footwork and a quick change of pace. She can pick out teammates, score goals, and dictate the game. A lot of the play will run through her for Spain at this World Cup.
If both Bonmati and Putellas are out there, the Spanish women’s national soccer team’s World Cup games will be must-watch events at this tournament.
- Sam Kerr
Australia’s Sam Kerr had a stunning soccer career in her home country, scoring 52 goals in 49 games for Perth Glory between 2014 and 2019. She continued to develop her game in the NWSL with the Chicago Red Stars before earning a 2020 move to Chelsea that also enabled her to compete in the Champions League.
Kerr is one of the most prolific strikers in the women’s game and always shows up at crunch time – having been labeled by ESPN as a “big game player.” As the star of one of the host countries this year, Kerr could deliver some crucial moments for Australia. If the Aussies are going to make a run in this tournament, they will need Kerr at her very best. In our recent exclusive interview with former USWNT player Leslie Osborne, said "Sam Kerr she will have the most pressure out of anyone in this tournament. Being in the host country, being the prolific player she is, I think she's going to feel it the most. I do think she will embrace it, but it's something that will be very interesting to see."
The Chelsea striker's level of play has been elite for many years now, and she finished third in Ballon d’Or Feminin voting in each of the last two seasons. Internationally, Kerr has scored 63 goals in 120 appearances for the Matildas and is undoubtedly going to be one of the most exciting players to watch for local fans -- and soccer fans in general -- during the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
Parameters of Rankings
These players have been ranked based on their individual ability to affect a game and the performances they have put on in both their domestic and international careers leading up to the 2023 Women’s World Cup tournament.
Women’s World Cup Odds at Betway
Find Women's World Cup odds on the Betway sportsbook. You'll find all the latest moneylines, over/under, 1st half results, parlays, prop bets, and soccer live betting. All your World Cup betting needs will be covered in our online sportsbook.
Visit Betway’s Women's World Cup predictions page for expert picks throughout the tournament.
Women's World Cup Betting Explained