62. Stina Blackstenius
Stina Blackstenius was probably the top breakout talent of 2016, starring in a formidable forward line at Linkpings alongside Pernille Harder.
At the start of 2017, Blackstenius made the jump to Montpellier in France, immediately helping the side topple PSG and qualify for the Champions League.
Now into her first full season at the club, the 21-year-old sits only behind Ada Hegerberg and Marie-Antoinette Katoto in the Ligue 1 scoring ranks and it’s scary to ponder how much more is to come.
Euro 2017 ultimately ended in disappointed, but Sweden always looked more potent in attack with the youngster on the field. Blackstenius scored in group matches against both Russia and Italy, before Pia Sundhage’s side bowed out in the quarter-finals.
Jean-Louis Saez, Montpellier manager says:
“Stina is a very intelligent player, she uses her pace and her movements to good advantage. For her age, she is very powerful and seems especially attracted to the goal!”
Janice Cayman, Montpellier team mate says:
“Stina is a young and powerful player. She is a forward that weighs on defences with her speed and strength. She is a good finisher and she is also an important player for the Swedish national team, even though she is still very young.”
Sophie Lawson, European women’s football writer says:
“Already well known to the women’s football world after a title-winning season with Linköping in 2016 and a starring role at the 2015 Under 19 Euros, 2017 has been a mixed year for the determined 21-year-old. A winter switch saw Blackstenius throw off the comforts of the Swedish Damallsvenskan for a taste of the unknown in the South of France. A world away from her home, Blackstenius arguably struggled over the first half-season she spent in Montpellier.
“A vital matching-winning goal against PSG in January one of her biggest contributions as she did her best to find her feet. The return of Sofia Jakobsson and arrival of Danish winger, Katrine Veje has seen MHSC boost their Scandinavian numbers and help Blackstenius settle this season, the goals once again flowing for the young attacker who’s already hit the back of the net ten times this term.”