Top 100 Female Footballers of 2022
It is time for our fifth edition of the best 100 female footballers in the world and here are the judges who took part in this year’s jury.
Some of the most respected and influential women and men within the game, including the USA head coach, Vlatko Andonovski, the Arsenal manager, Jonas Eidevall, and Canada’s Olympic-winning head coach, Bev Priestman.
We are also privileged to have had the US soccer writer Grant Wahl, who tragically died while covering the men’s World Cup in Qatar this month, on the panel. Wahl was a tremendous journalist who did so much to promote women’s football despite his busy schedule and his impact on journalism and the women’s game will never be forgotten.
He is part of our biggest jury yet with many new faces, taking the number of judges to 119, including the Brazil legend Sissi, Germany’s World Cup-winning defender Babett Peter, the Barcelona head coach, Jonathan Giráldez, and the Italy legend Patrizia Panico, now manager at Fiorentina, among many others.
Their votes have been counted to see whether Alexia Putellas can become the first player to defend her crown or whether we will have a new Guardian best female footballer in the world.
The countdown begins on Wednesday 21 December with Nos 100-71. On Thursday we will reveal Nos 70-41, on Friday Nos 40-11 before the top 10 on Saturday to complete this year’s list.
The judges are listed in alphabetical order by category.
The voting period for the Top 100 Female Footballers of 2022 was 1st November 2021 – 31st October 2022.
Click on each relevant section below to read a profile on each of our 100 players in 2022.
Janni Arnth Former Denmark international with 93 caps; won 4 major domestic league titles across 3 countries
Regina Baresi Former Italian striker who scored 108 goals in 208 matches for Inter Milano
Marta Carissimi Former Italy international with 18 caps; won 2 Serie A titles in 2015 and 2017
Arianna Criscione Former Italy international with 3 caps; won 3 consecutive Serie A titles with Torres
Theresa Eslund Former Denmark international with 133 caps; won 5 Danish league titles and played in the Euro 2017 final
Grace Gill Former Australia international with 1 cap; won 2 A-League titles with Canberra United
Guðbjörg Gunnarsdóttir Former Iceland international with 64 caps; won 6 domestic league titles across Iceland and Norway
Tuija Hyyrynen Former Finland international with 115 caps; won 5 consecutive Serie A league titles with Juventus
Maia Jackman Former New Zealand international with 50 caps; played for her country at the 2007 World Cup
Haley Kopmeyer Former NWSL goalkeeper; won two consecutive NWSL Shields with Seattle Reign in 2014 and 2015
Gina Lewandowski Former USA international with 1 cap’ won the Champions League in 2008 and 2 Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich
Ella Masar Former USA international with 1 cap; won the Bundesliga title with Wolfsburg in 2019 and two Swedish Cups with FC Rosengård
Doreen Nabwire Former Kenya international who played professional in the Netherlands and Germany; won the Kenyan Premier League in 2012
Babett Peter Former Germany international with 118 caps; won a World Cup, European Championship, a Champions League and 8 Bundesliga titles
Corine Petit Former France international with 89 caps; won 10 consecutive league titles with Lyon and 5 Champions League titles
Nicole Rolser Former Germany international with 2 caps; won 2 consecutive FA WSL titles with Liverpool in 2013 and 2014 and a Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich
Jenny Ruiz-Williams Former Mexico international with 36 caps; represented Seattle Reign in the NWSL
Desirée Schumann Former German goalkeeper; won the 2010 U20 World Cup with her country, 3 Bundesliga titles and 2 Champions League titles
Sissi Former Brazil international with 47 caps and 33 goals; won the Golden Boot at the 1999 World Cup
Leonne Stentler Former Netherlands international with 16 caps; won the Eredivisie title with ADO Den Haag in 2012
Fabrice Abriel Fleury 91 manager
Juan Carlos Amorós NJ/NY Gotham manager
Vlatko Andonovski USA head coach
Natalia Arroyo Real Sociedad manager
Colin Bell South Korea head coach
Leah Blayney Australia youth team head coach
Shilene Booysen South Sudan head coach
Mariana Cabral Sporting Lisbon manager
Freya Coombe Angel City FC manager
Lluís Cortés Ukraine head coach
Laura Del Rio Spain U23 head coach
Nicola Demaine Former Papua New Guinea head coach
Jonas Eidevall Arsenal manager
Irene Fuhrmann Austria head coach
Peter Gerhardsson Sweden head coach
Jonatan Giráldez Barcelona manager
Ann-Helén Grahm Tigres UANL assistant manager
Richard Gunney Former San Diego Wave assistant manager
Ásmundur Haraldsson Iceland assistant head coach
Takayoshi Ishihara Former INAC Kobe manager
Per Inge Jacobsen Stabæk manager
Andrée Jeglertz Linköping manager
Kim Kulig Wolfsburg assistant manager
José Letelier Chile head coach
Pedro López Mexico head coach
Milagros Martínez Juarez manager
Martin Masaryk Sparta Prague manager
Theresa Merk SC Freiburg manager
Amandine Miquel Stade de Reims manager
Joe Montemurro Juventus manager
Patrizia Panico Fiorentina manager
Nina Patalon Poland head coach
Kristine Pedersen Denmark youth team head coach
Bev Priestman Canada head coach
María Pry Madrid CFF manager
Rick De Rooij PSV manager
Cédric Roger Vietnam assistant head coach
Matt Ross South Korea assistant head coach
Angela Salem Washington Spirit assistant manager
Chris Sargeant FC Nordsjælland manager
Anna Signeul Finland head coach
Tatiele Silveira Former Santos, Gremio and Brazil youth team head coach
Renée Slegers FC Rosengård manager
Kat Smith Western Sydney Wanderers manager
Lars Søndegaard Denmark head coach
Brian Sørensen Everton manager
Alessandro Spugna AS Roma manager
Alen Stajcic Philippines head coach
Alexander Straus Bayern Munich manager
Lene Terp Faroe Islands manager
Randy Waldrum Nigeria head coach
Jens Wedeborg IFK Kalmar manager
Chan Yuen Ting Jiangsu manager
Robert Vilahamn BK Håcken manager
Beverly Yanez Racing Louisville assistant manager
Abdullah Abdullah Freelance women’s football writer and analyst in the UAE; published two women’s football books
Samuel Ahmadu Freelance women’s football writer in Nigeria
Om Arvind Freelance women’s football writer and analyst in Spain
David Astill Women’s football writer and analyst at Total Analysis in England
Romain Balland Women’s football writer and broadcaster in France
Annika Becker Freelance women’s football writer in Germany
Alex Bishop Freelance women’s football writer in Japan
Liana Buratti Digital Content Lead at Football Australia and former women’s football writer
Isobel Cootes Women’s football writer for OPTUS Sport in Australia
Javiera Court Arrau Women’s football writer in Chile
Syanie Dalmat Women’s football writer for L’Equipe in France
Seraina Degen Women’s football writer and broadcaster for SRF Sport in Switzerland
Eileen Doeker Women’s football writer for Sky Sports Deutschland in Germany
Cheryl Downes Co-founder and editor of Beyond 90 in Australia
Mia Eriksson Women’s football writer in Sweden for TV4; co-host of Their Pitch
Alex Ibaceta Women’s football reporter for DAZN Europe
Harjeet Johal Freelance women’s football writer in Canada
Meaghen Johnson Women’s football writer and producer for TSN in Canada
Rachael Kriger Freelance women’s football writer in the USA
Rich Laverty Freelance women’s football writer in England; Top 100 founder
Sophie Lawson Women’s football writer for ESPN in England
Gianluca Lia Women’s football writer for MaltaTimes in Malta
Amber van Lieshout Women’s football writer for Vrouwen Voetbal Nieuws in the Netherlands
David Menayo Women’s football writer for MARCA in Spain
Sofie Munch Women’s football writer and broadcaster for TV 2 Sport in Denmark
Blair Newman Women’s football writer and analyst in the USA
Antonio Loma Osorio Women’s football writer in Chile
Christina Paulos Women’s football reporter for TV 2 Sport in Norway
Annemarie Postma Freelance women’s football writer in the Netherlands
Sandra Prusina Women’s football broadcaster and reporter in Canada
Ameé Ruszkai Women’s football writer for GOAL in England
Romina Sacher Women’s football writer and reporter in Argentina
Alicia Soares Women’s football writer in Brazil
Megan Swanick Freelance women’s football writer in the USA
Maria Tikas Women’s football writer for Diario SPORT in Spain
Joanna Tokarska Women’s football writer and reporter in Poland
Hanna Urbaniak Women’s football writer in Poland
Rivkah op het Veld Women’s football reporter for NOS Sport in the Netherlands
Amanda Viana Women’s football reporter in Brazil
Grant Wahl Freelance women’s football writer in the USA
Julia Wanjeri Freelance women’s football writer in Africa; founder of JWSports
Suzy Wrack Women’s football writer for The Guardian in England
Ayishatu Zakaria Ali Women’s football writer ad reporter in Ghana
Amanda Zaza Women’s football reporter for TV4/Fotbollskanalen Sweden; co-host of Their Pitch
How they made their choices
• Our judges were sent a longlist of players from around the world and asked one simple question: who have been the best female players in the world in 2022?
• We asked our judges to choose 40 names each, and rank their selection in order from 1-40, No1 being their choice of the best female player in the world this year.
How the voting works
• The No 1 choice of each judge was awarded 40pts, No 2 given 39pts, down to 1pt for their No 40 choice. All the votes were added together to give a raw score.
• To minimise the influence of outliers in the list, the highest score awarded to a player was then deducted to give a final score.
• A player needed to receive votes from at least five judges to qualify for the list.
• If players are level on points in the scoring, the number of No1 votes is used as a tie-break, followed by individual votes cast.
• We are very grateful to our judges for taking part, and none have been paid for participating in this project.
• To allow our judges the freedom to express their opinions without fear or favour, individual voting records will be anonymised in the full breakdown of scores.
• Voters are identified only by their category and a number chosen at random. The judges’ numbers bear no relation whatsoever to the alphabetical list of judges’ names presented above.