50. Claudia Neto
2017 was a big year for Portugal midfielder Claudia Neto in so many ways. The 29-year-old has spent many years in the shadows until her move to Sweden in 2014.
Three years on and Neto has just helped Linkpings defend the Damallsvenskan title, but on the international stage got to lead her team out at a major tournament for the first time.
It was the least the Portugal captain deserved for the quality she shows on the pitch and her commitment to the cause, even if Portugal didn’t make it beyond the group stage.
Neto’s impression in Sweden this year has been so strong that it’s earned her a post-season move to Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg, along with team mate Kristine Minde.
Mariana Cabral, Portuguese women’s football writer says:
“Cláudia is a very hard working and dynamic player, making her an engine in the midfield, mixing strength and technical finesse. She is such a role model in women’s football in Portugal that people here call her CN7, obviously comparing her to Cristiano Ronaldo, not only because they’re both captains and no.7, but also because they’re both hugely influential in our national teams.”