70. Mana Iwabuchi
At 26, Iwabuchi starred at her third World Cup this year and there’s very few in the game now who read the game as well as her. The heartbeat of an ever progressing Japan side, her nation’s priorities were perhaps elsewhere this year with a home Olympics on the horizon, but Iwabuchi has firmly cemented her status as one of the stars of the team. She scored a vital goal against Scotland in France which helped Japan progress to the second round and a dazzling recent performance against Canada in a friendly showed the world what she’s capable of. Her ability to dribble was proven in a recent Nadeshiko League game where she beat two defenders before firing a low effort into the corner. Despite a drop in position from last year, there’s been no drop in Iwabuchi’s talent.
Mami Yamaguchi & Aya Miyama, former Japan internationals:
“Mana can finish the game when she is near or in the penalty box. With her top quality, dribbling, changing direction quickly, changing pace, fakes, she leaves defenders in a lot of trouble.”
|⇐ 71. Mal Pugh||69. Stina Blackstenius ⇒|