21. Shanice van de Sanden
Undoubtedly one of the fastest players in world football, Van de Sanden made up for an inconsistent domestic season with a couple of key performances at Euro 2017.
Van de Sanden became a national hero when she scored the winning goal against Norway in the tournament opener, held in her home city of Utrecht just to add to the occasion.
The winger’s pace caused teams problem throughout the tournament, and she used it to good effect in the final when she burst past her marker to tee up Vivianne Miedema for a goal that made it 1-1 against Denmark.
Van de Sanden’s performances earned her a move from Liverpool to treble winners Lyon, a move that started well, but Van de Sanden’s form has tailed off towards the end of a long year.
If she can find some consistency and an extra bit of end product in 2018, she’ll be a tough player to deal with more regularly.
Lucy Bronze, Lyon team mate says:
“Bags of pace and a constant threat in any team, but not just going forward. Shanice has an unmatched enthusiasm to work hard in any situation, against any player, in any game. She is the most contagious team mate, always demanding more from everyone, no matter who it is.”
Sari van Veenendaal, Netherlands team mate says:
“The quickest winger at the European Championships. She developed very well over the last few years and got a move to Lyon as a result. She is able to combine speed and reaching the right striker in front of goal, she also has an amazing personality.”
Renee Slegers, Netherlands team mate says:
“Shanice is great girl, so much energy, I get happy when I am around here. She came to the national team when she was 16 and she was super fast but did not have much control and eye for the game. She developed so much, she is eager to learn, always asking people for tips and I know that Manon Melis and Shanice were often doing extra stuff after training together. Shanice learned a lot from her.”
Priya Ramesh, Dutch football writer says:
“With her constant engagement with the fans during the Euros, Shanice van de Sanden has become a bold, fun, and energetic new face for women’s football in the Netherlands. “Go and play with your make-up” is an unimaginative, childish retort that is often heard by girls who play football. And yet, no one would dare tell Shanice van de Sanden to ‘go play with your make-up’ as an insult, for she was pure lightning in perfect makeup; setting the wings ablaze while her own winged eyeliner remained perfect, making defenders see red as her own bright-red lipstick barely smudged.
“After making a dream move from Liverpool to European Champions Olympique Lyonnais in the summer, Van de Sanden must now prove herself in a team full of stars and add more dimensions to her attacking play.”