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  • Writer's pictureAshlea Follows

5 players to look out for: WWC 2023

In what is arguably going to be the most competitive World Cup tournament we’ve seen in

the women’s game in years, the opening game of the Women’s World Cup is just 2 weeks

away. Below are 5 players to look out for during the tournament.

● Millie Bright (England)

First up is Millie Bright, the newly appointed England captain going into the tournament (due

to the absence of injured Leah Williamson), is certainly a player to keep an eye on. Despite

not seeing any competitive action for Chelsea or for her country, the defender has been

working really hard on her fitness ahead of the tournament and therefore it was no surprise

to see her in Sarina Wiegman’s squad and good news for England fans, she is expected to

be fit for England’s opener against Haiti on 22 July.

At the Euros last summer, Bright was an integral part of The Lionesses success, her

partnership at the back with the likes of Lucy Bronze, Alex Greenwood, Leah Williamson

and Rachel Daly was incredible as they only conceded 2 goals in the entire tournament.

The 29-year-old gave her all every game and was always so passionate for her country

every time she wore the shirt, which I’m sure she will want to continue to do this summer in

Australia. Of course she can also pop up with a goal or two for her country or even just sit

up front and cause problems for other teams defenders if her side needs a goal.

It will be interesting to see just how fit Bright is, but if she performs as good as she was

during the Euros, The Lionesses are in safe hands at the back and they have a true leader

to replace Williamson (for now) at the tournament, and who knows, she could lead her side

to World Cup glory for the first time ever.

● Sam Kerr (Australia)

Sam Kerr, of course she is a player to keep an eye on during the World Cup, and big things

are expected of her as once again she returns to captain The Matildas this summer. She

may not have had her greatest goal scoring run in the WSL last season, but she still helped

Chelsea win their 4th consecutive WSL title and she did score the decisive goal in the

Women’s FA Cup final against Manchester United back in May.

Her record for her country speaks for itself. With over 60 goals, she is her country'ss all time

leading goal scorer both for men and women, and at the last World Cup in 2019, her side

didn’t do incredibly well, but she still scored 5 goals in 4 games (4 in one game against

Jamaica). The 29-year-old also finished top-scorer at the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in

India, bagging seven goals in just four matches.

The Matildas have been in great form going into the tournament, in their last friendly back in

April they beat England 2-0, and of course Kerr was on the scoresheet.

Can she lead her side to World Cup glory in her native country? Either way she will

definitely be a player to keep an eye on, especially for the golden boot.


● Megan Rapinoe (USA)


A player often described as the perfect role model in women’s football Megan Rapinoe, is

just one member of an extremely talented USA team to keep an eye on this summer.

She returns for her fourth World Cup and will be competing for hers and her country’s third

successive title (a fate that has never been achieved by a women’s or men’s team in World

Cup history). The 38-year-old veteran is the oldest player in the 23 player USA squad. But

that being said she was the top goal scorer at the tournament back in 2019.

It’s hard to see Rapinoe playing full 90’s during the tournament however, her leadership

skills will be integral to the younger players in the squad, as she knows better than anyone

how to deal with pressure and nerves. But, when she does take to the field, she will no

doubt give 100% like she has in all her previous tournaments and receive a great reception

from all the fans and viewers back at home.

Can she top off an outstanding career for her country with one final World Cup?

● Alexia Putellas (Spain)

Having won the women’s Ballon d’Or, the Best FIFA Women’s Player, and European

Women’s Player of the Year in both 2021 and 2022, Alexia Putellas is without doubt the

best player that will be on show at the World Cup this summer (at least on paper).

She may have missed nine months of football after suffering an ACL injury just before the

Euros last summer, but the 29-year-old returned to play for FC Barcelona in April, in which

time she helped her side win the treble including the Women’s Champions League.

Despite being a midfielder, she has scored over 20 goals for her country and has bagged

plenty of assists too.

And even after protesting in September against Spain coach Jorge Vilda’s handling of the

team along with several other players who also threatened to leave the team, she has been

included in the squad and without failure her presence will provide an already excellent

Spanish team with that extra bit of quality they need to potentially win the whole

tournament.

Either way, just to see Putellas back playing at a major tournament will be amazing for fans

and viewers at home.

● Marta Vieira da Silva (Brazil)

Returning for her sixth (and potentially last) World Cup at the age of 37, Brazilian veteran

Marta heads to Australia holding the record for the most goals in world cup tournaments

with 17, this is better than any other woman or male professional.

The 37-year-old forward suffered a horrible season ending ACL injury back in 2022, which

led to her being a major doubt for the World Cup, however she has been named and is

definitely expected to play.

Marta has had an exceptional career for her country and various clubs, she may be the

veteran of the team, but she can still light up this tournament with her skill.

Can she extend her top goalscoring record even further before potentially retiring?

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