The Top 100 Women’s Footballers in 2016

After watching The Guardian successfully rank the best 100 footballers around the world over the last couple of years, The Offside Rule Podcast has taken on the challenge of doing the same for the female equivalent of our sport.

For 2016 we gathered a panel including journalists, current players, ex-players and coaches to vote from around the world. From the UK to Australia, Nicaragua to South Africa and Canada to Sweden. Our legends have hundreds of international caps and goals between them and a whole host of silverware to brag about to go with it.


#100-91 #90-81 #80-71 #70-61 #60-51
#50-41 #40-31 #30-21 #20-11 #10-1


The likes of Linkopings boss Martin Sjogren, Arsenal and England legend Kelly Smith, former England manager Hope Powell and many others have set about voting for the best women’s footballers across the past 12 months.

The judges are listed below plus how the voting works, we will count down from 100 to 1 throughout December and reveal full details of how the votes were cast on New Year’s Day.

  • Kelly Smith | Former England international & Arsenal legend who amassed over 100 caps for England and is the country’s top scorer with 46 goals
  • Ana Cate | Stjarnan FC player and Nicaragua international footballer
  • Becky Easton | Former England international who played for Everton, Liverpool and Doncaster Belles
  • Lucy Ward | Former England international who played for Leeds United, now a women’s football pundit
  • Lindsay Johnson | Former England international who played for Everton, also a women’s football pundit
  • Keith Boanas | Former Charlton Athletic & Millwall Lionesses manager as well as head coach of the Estonia national team
  • Matt Beard | Two-time FA WSL 1 winner as manager of Liverpool and now manager of NWSL side Boston Breakers
  • Martin Sjogren | Swedish football manager currently in charge of Damallsvenskan champions Linkopings
  • Sue Ronan | Former head coach of the Republic of Ireland national team
  • Randy Waldrum | Currently in charge of NWSL side Houston Dash
  • Hope Powell | Former England international who went on to manage the national team for 15 years
  • Mark Parsons | Current Portland Thorns manager and former boss of Chelsea Ladies
  • Matt Ross | Australian manager currently in charge of Bundesliga side FFC Frankfurt
  • Alen Stajcic | Current Australia national team manager
  • David Edmondson | Current London Bees boss and former manager of A-League side Melbourne Victory
  • Ann-Helen Graham | Scotland national team assistant manager
  • Tom Sermanni | Scottish football manager currently in charge of NWSL side Orlando Pride
  • Andrew Gibney | Freelance women’s football writer for Yahoo Sport UK
  • Adam Barlow | Senior women’s football correspondent for Sport Magazine & co-editor of the Women’s World Football Show
  • Jana Lange | Women’s football writer for German agency SID
  • Katie Mishner | Freelance women’s football writer, just back from reporting on the U17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan
  • Carrie Dunn | Freelance women’s football writer for Yahoo Sport UK & Eurosport, author of ‘Roar of the Lionesses
  • Jasmina Schweimler | Freelance women’s football writer based in Germany
  • Ann Odong | Australian women’s football writer, co-founder & editor of The Women’s Game
  • Girls on the Ball | Travelling the world to watch & update people on women’s football, GOTB are the ultimate source of information
  • Sophie Lawson | Women’s football writer for
  • Linda Eriksson | Swedish women’s football correspondent for WoSo Zone
  • JJ Duke | Editor of Our Game Magazine
  • Rainer Fussganger | Women’s football writer, covering Germany and Sweden
  • Tony Leighton | Freelance women’s football writer for The Guardian and SheKicks

How It All Works

  • Our judges were sent a list of 150 footballers from around the world and were asked to vote for their top 50 footballers of 2016.
  • The top choice of each judge was awarded 50 points, second choice 49 points, third choice 48 points and so on. All votes were then added together to give a final list of 100 footballers.
  • If any two or more players were level on points, order would be based on how many individual votes each player received. If that still couldn’t split them, they were based on how many No.1 votes each received.


  • To ensure all our judges had freedom to vote for who they wished and not bound by personal relationships or club relationships, all votes will appear anonymous on the final voting sheet.
  • Judges will appear on the voting sheet as singular numbers and those numbers bear no relation to the person voting i.e. alphabetical order.
  • The individual voting breakdown will be posted on the website and across the social media channels on January 1st, 2017.
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