23. Saki Kumagai

One of the classiest and indeed calmest midfielders in the women’s game today. Saki Kumagai is a player to be cherished, she’ll rarely pop up with regular goals, but the Japan captain is as important as anyone in Lyon’s success.

Able to play a more defensive role if necessary, Kumagai’s experience and assured nature is proven in that she’s Lyon’s go-to penalty taker.

Unfortunately for Kumagai, she missed in the French Cup final but was bailed out by her team mates, but she had the nerve to step up again against the same opposition a few weeks later in the Champions League final.

Kumagai scored as Lyon completed an historic treble and had another year where she showed her obvious talent on the football pitch.

Lucy Bronze, Lyon team mate says:

“Saki is the ultimate perfectionist and professional, wanting every single pass she makes to be inch perfect. She has the ability to make it look so effortless at the same time. Often an unsung hero of teams but without her on the pitch, games would often lack the same high quality and precision.”

Corine Petit, Lyon team mate says:

“Saki is always so concentrated on the field, she always want to help the team. She is the first on the field each day to foot juggle with her tennis ball. On the field, she defends well and intercepts so many balls, and she is a wonderful striker for the penalties!”

 

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