Top 100 Female Footballers of 2022: 80-71
The voting period for the Top 100 Female Footballers of 2022 was 1st November 2021 – 31st October 2022.
Waßmuth has been on fire in 2022. Only Alexia Putellas beat her tally of 10 goals in the Champions League last season, all the more impressive given it was her debut in Europe’s premier club competition. Waßmuth has a natural eye for goal and, alongside her exploits in Europe, ended the Bundesliga season with an impressive 12 goals and seven assists for champions Wolfsburg. She’s had to be more patient with Germany and played a secondary role at the Euros, but she’s started the new season in good form and is quickly becoming one of Europe’s most potent strikers.
Malard is growing into a top striker but she also has had to balance opportunities given the strength in depth in attack at both domestic and international level. She scored 13 league goals for Lyon last season to end the campaign as the joint-third top scorer in France, while this season her most impressive performances have come in Europe, with four goals and four assists in the Champions League already, but only two in the league. For France, Marie-Antoinette Katoto’s injury gifted her the chance to be the No 9 at Euro 2022 and she found the net against Iceland inside 60 seconds. An exciting and tricky young forward, Malard still has plenty to come but is starting to show it more regularly.
Like many defensive midfielders, it feels as though Wälti’s performances often go unnoticed compared to attacking players. Wälti has been impressive so far this season as Arsenal have only lost once in nine WSL games. She plays a pivotal role for both club and Switzerland too, holding down the midfield. Wälti is certainly one of the best in the world in her position and is making her role look easier than ever.
Sheridan took home a superb individual award in 2022 and with it a spot in the top 100 for the first time. Joining new franchise San Diego Wave at the start of the year, she took her game to the next level, enjoying a superb run of form between the sticks and being named goalkeeper of the year in the NWSL as well as earning her a spot in the team of the season as a result. Her performances helped the Wave to an excellent debut season as they reached the NWSL playoffs, pushing eventual champions Portland Thorns all the way, as well as cementing her spot as the No 1 for Canada before next year’s World Cup.
Sinclair’s level at 39 years of age remains high enough to maintain her spot in the list. Sinclair scored five goals in the regular NWSL season and played a huge role as the Thorns won back their NWSL Championship, while she remains a big part of Canada’s plans heading towards the 2023 World Cup. The goals may understandbly be slowing down as she prepares to play on into her 40s next season, but Sinclair is maintaining an impressively high level as she approaches the twilight of her career.
Van de Donk’s year began with an injury that ruled her out for four months, but she returned to play a role in her side winning the Champions League against Barcelona and was ready to represent her nation at Euro 2022. She quickly reminded everyone of her top level with a stunning goal against Portugal at a vital moment for the Netherlands, and remains an incredibly intelligent operator in the midfield for club and country. Van de Donk has started the new season in good form, finding the net three times for Lyon as she looks to get back to her best. Her injury and time out has seen her drop down the rankings this year, but when on the pitch has reminded our judges of her quality.
The youngest player to break into the top 100 this year and a name we will certainly hear plenty more of in years to come. Caicedo is an exceptional talent at 17 and has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona already. Her winning goal against Argentina helped Colombia to the Copa América final, a tournament in which the teenager was named the best player. Caicedo also starred at the U17 World Cup and it’s a marker of her talent that she juggles youth and senior football with ease. Caicedo has all the attributes in her attacking game to become one of the best.
Perhaps it was the big summer move to Manchester City that has finally earned Hasegawa further appreciation within the game as the Japanese star breaks into the top 100 for the first time. Like many teammates at international level, her technical ability on the ball is there for all to see, albeit at times she is being asked to play a more defensive role for her new club, but Hasegawa has also shown she can get forward to score and create goals as she did for West Ham. It is refreshing to see such a talented player step up to one of Europe’s top clubs and show just how influential she can be on a team’s attacking play.
Geyse’s ability has been well known since she broke into the Brazil youth teams, and it hasn’t taken her long to reach the top echelons. Her 20 goals for Madrid CFF last season were an incredible feat in a team outside the big four in Spain and earned her a move to Barcelona in the summer where she has wasted no time in making an impact. Geyse has nine goals this season in all competitions as well as picking up the Copa América trophy with Brazil in the summer. An incredible year for a young striker with so much more to come.
It is testament to Carpenter’s ability that she drops only five places this year despite missing the second half of the year due to an ACL injury. Cruellest of all, it came during the biggest game of her year as Lyon beat Barcelona to regain their Champions League title. Up to that point the full-back had continued to be impressive for club and country and was once again in good form. Given how long she has been on the scene at the top level, it’s easy to forget Carpenter is still only 22 and there is little doubt she will continue to progress when she returns to action next year.