12. Amandine Henry

Many would now argue Amandine Henry is the best centre midfielder in the world right now, and her 2017 would only back up that opinion.

Making the move to leave Lyon behind in 2016 for a two-year spell in the US with Portland Thorns was a risk, but one that has richly paid off for her.

Henry scored three goals for the Thorns as they won the 2017 NWSL Championship and it appeared a cruel injustice that she didn’t even make the NWSL’s Second Best XI post-season.

Euro 2017 ended in disappointment for Henry, but post-NWSL the 28-year-old returned to France, this time with Lyon’s rivals PSG.

Mark Parsons, Portland Thorns manager says:

“Amandine is an unbelievable professional, she has the highest standards but she’s so passionate too. She demands that you help her get better and that’s an absolute dream as a manager. She’ll come in and talk to you and tell you what she’s struggling with.

“Amandine can do absolutely anything and she could play in any position. I’m absolutely gutted we’ve lost her, but we knew that was the reality. Everyone knows what she’s capable of, I thought she carried France on her shoulders at Euro 2017. I put her as the best centre midfielder in the world, her and Jess Fishlock over the past five years have been the best. [Sam] Mewis and [Lindsey] Horan are the next two, but Amandine is just brilliant.”

Kieran Theivam, UK/US women’s football writer says:

“Henry was brought to Portland to win a championship, and in her only full season with the club, she was able to do that. Bringing her class and composure to a talented midfield allowed the more attack minded players around her to express themselves, while she played her part in her side having the meanest defence.

“For France, it was a tournament to forget at this summer’s Euro’s, but Henry was by far the stand out player for her country, and she has been rewarded for her performances by taking on the captain’s armband after being allocated the role by head coach, Corrine Diacre.”

 

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