Top 100 Female Footballers of 2021: 50-41
The voting period for the Top 100 Female Footballers of 2021 was October 2020 – October 2021.
Däbritz played a key role in PSG’s success this year even if her eight assists last season perhaps went unnoticed among the goals scored by the team’s blistering front three. Her six assists already this season only underline her importance, a tally unmatched by anyone else in the league to date. The 26-year-old is entering her peak years in top form for both PSG and Germany. One of the very best in her role anywhere in Europe and sneaks into the top 50 once again.
A flick of a wrist arguably won Chelsea the WSL last season, Berger’s stunning one-handed save from Lauren Hemp in what was essentially a title decider against Manchester City just one of many key contributions this year from the goalkeeper who gets her highest ranking to date. Whether it was big penalty stops in Europe or her superb saves in other games, Berger was a huge presence for Chelsea as they completed a domestic treble in 2021, and she played a huge role in the Blues reaching a first European final.
Girelli only moves up six places from 2020 but it’s enough to make her first appearance in the top 50 and deservedly so given her goal contributions once again this year. Her 22 goals saw her end last season as the top scorer comfortably in Serie A, helping Juventus to another league title. Three goals this season is a solid start while her two in the Champions League were crucial against Wolfsburg and she already has seven for Italy in her national team’s opening World Cup qualifiers.
Hemp shooting straight into the top 50 above some household names says everything about the year she has had. Her return from injury at the end of 2020 instantly made Manchester City a greater force. Her speed, agility and skill down the left has made her a potent weapon for club and country and she is one of the best wingers in the WSL. Still only 21, Hemp last season weighed in with six goals and eight assists in the league and already has three goals this season despite her team’s struggles.
Marozsán drops well out of the top 10 this year and shows just how strong the women’s game now is given the wizardry she continued to show at times during 2021. The Germany star ended last season with the most assists in the French league, not for the first time, before embarking on a new, temporary adventure in the USA with OL Reign, where she continued to show what she can do with a ball at her feet. There are few better at creating chances for others and Marozsán certainly enjoyed another good year doing what she does best.
Rolfö returned from injury at the back end of last year and instantly showed why she is such a gifted player, and there can’t be a greater compliment for a player than being signed by Barcelona after a treble-winning season. It’s testament to Rolfö’s attacking qualities she hasn’t looked out of place in Catalonia, scoring four goals in her opening 10 league games in Spain as well as creating several more. Her three goals in Tokyo also played a big role in Sweden’s march to the final and subsequent silver medal. Overall a really good year for Rolfö.
It is no surprise to see Oberdorf rocket up the rankings this year. What’s scary about her talent is she is already one of the best in her role at 19 years old. Her positional play combined with her endless energy makes her a tough defensive midfielder to play against and the fact she is nowhere near her peak years yet makes it all the more remarkable. There can be no doubt Oberdorf is well on the way to being one of the world’s best and Wolfsburg will be delighted to have tied her down on a deal until 2024 at the start of the year.
After injury had robbed us of Fishlock’s talents, the Welsh midfielder bounced back this year in fine fashion, taking home the NWSL MVP award for her performances with OL Reign, where she was reunited with her former manager Laura Harvey. It’s no surprise they wanted her back early from her loan spell at Reading where she enjoyed a successful return to the WSL. She also scored a couple of candidates for goal of the year, with stunning efforts from long range. A player who really does have it all.
Williamson has progressively moved up the rankings in the past couple of years and it’s no shock she has again in 2021 as she once again blossomed for club and, even more so, country, where she is now holding down a regular starting spot at the heart of the England defence. A potentially significant hamstring injury has come at the worst time for a player who was named temporary England captain by Sarina Wiegman, but it hasn’t stopped Williamson enjoying a really good year and no doubt she will return in top form too.
Kumagai made the move away from Lyon this year where she was always such a key component of the French side’s dominance. Joining German champions Bayern Munich in the summer, the Japanese superstar remains one of the classiest operators in the game whether it be in midfield or defence, and typically returned to haunt her former club with a late goal in a recent Champions League group stage tie. Kumagai remains one of the calmest with the ball at her feet and has already settled nicely into Bundesliga life.