20. Jackie Groenen
Jackie Groenen’s domestic season was so-so as FFC Frankfurt struggled for any sort of consistency in 2017 and endured a managerial change towards the end of the year.
But it was in the summer that Groenen, like many of her Netherlands team mates, showed what she’s really capable of. The 23-year-old isn’t even at her peak yet, but the former Chelsea player made her job look easy as the Dutch marched towards a historic Euro 2017 title.
Groenen never found the net, but her class on the ball and her passing skills ensured her team mates scored plenty. Such was her presence that she was named in the tournament’s Best XI, and one now wonders how long it will be until she returns to one of the world’s top teams.
Renee Slegers, Netherlands team mate says:
“Jackie is a great player and she’s a quick player. She’s a great ball winner in the midfield and she has a really strong all round game.”
Lily Agg, FFC Frankfurt team mate says:
“Jackie is a tricky player to play against, even when she looks outnumbered she manages to keep possession of the ball and get out of trouble. Can change a game and a very intelligent player.”
Priya Ramesh, Dutch football writer says:
“Once nicknamed ‘the Ant’ in her Chelsea days for her indefatigable effort in pressing, Groenen’s star shined bright on the big stage in the summer, where she earned herself a new nickname of being the Dutch team’s Iniesta, courtesy of Pierre van Hooijdonk. Behind the dazzling Dutch attack was the synergy of intelligence and industry that Groenen brought to the midfield, driving her team forward. On a symbolic level, it was heartening to see a Dutch #14 lead her team to international glory, as all those years of watching videos of Cruijff and Bergkamp in the back of the family car paid off at the Euros.”