Best female footballers in the world ranked 2023 (2024)

Honourable mentions must be given to Fran Kirby, Alex Morgan, Mapi León, Vivianne Miedema and Pernille Harder, who are all top 10 worthy; however, they fall just shy of this list.

Ahead of what promises to be another fantastic summer and domestic season in September, RadioTimes.com rounds up the 10 best women's football players in the world in 2023.

10. Lucy Bronze

Best female footballers in the world ranked 2023 (1)

One of the Lionesses' most seasoned and integral talents, Lucy Bronze has found some of her best form across the last 18 months, including playing a crucial role in England's Euro 2022 victory. Her move to Barcelona at the start of the 22/23 season meant she became the first woman to win the UEFA Women's Champions League with two different clubs after having a stellar season with the Catalans.

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Now being a part of Sarina Wiegman's 23-player squad and heading to her third World Cup with England, with over 100 caps under her belt, the two-time BBC Women's Footballer of the Year has become one of the most highly regarded and decorated defenders of her generation.

9. Caroline Graham Hansen

Best female footballers in the world ranked 2023 (2)

A player who flies under the radar, Caroline Graham Hansen is one of the most technically gifted players ever, let alone this past year. Having had a bad spell with injury, the Norway international creates chances with ease whilst finding the back of the net all too easily.

Playing a pivotal role at the end of Barcelona's bid for another Champions League title, the 28-year-old proved just how lethal she can be to a side and will be hoping to bring some of that class to Norway's bid for World Cup glory.

Whilst she may be a surprise addition, she is far too clinical not to appear in the top 10. She is tipped to be nominated for her first Ballon d'Or in October.

8. Alexandra Popp

Another German great, Alexandra Popp crucially and heartbreakingly missed out on playing in the Euros final against England, being denied the opportunity to score the winning goal and get her hands on a European medal.

Despite this, Popp, with over 60 goals for Germany so far, is a great of the game and one of the most clinical and impressive finishers, being integral to Germany's dominance over the past 13 years of her international career. She has found new form in recent months, still being as invaluable as ever at club level for Wolfsburg and, therefore, cements her place on the top ten list.

7. Wendie Renard

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Wendie Renard holds one of the highest calibres when it comes to defending that the women's game has ever seen. 21/22 was a historic year for the centre half, who added yet another Champions League trophy to her cabinet as her ability to contribute to glory continued.

Whilst the 22/23 campaign went less to plan, her towering impact was again vital in the domestic league, international effort, and Champions League run. Whilst being a stellar defender, she poses a tremendous aerial threat. She has registered countless goals, giving her a slight edge to take a place in this ranking.

6. Keira Walsh

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It is impossible to have a list of top footballers this year and not include Keira Walsh, who has become England's most valuable player and the most expensive female footballer to date following her move from Manchester City to Barcelona.

Being awarded Player of the Match, the midfielder has been categorically under-appreciated in recent years; however, after a stellar 12 months, she has shot to the top of everyone's list due to her incredible skill and vision at the Euros that culminated in her assist of the opening goal of the final. She could not be left off this list.

5. Lena Oberdorf

Best female footballers in the world ranked 2023 (6)

Like Walsh, Lena Oberdorf's frankly outstanding performance for Germany last summer has made her a household name in women's football and why she is fifth on this list.

At just 21, it is pretty frightening how good the Euros Young Player of the Tournament is at such a fresh age. She has already established herself as one of the best midfielders around. She has never shied away from a tackle, making her defensive ability known.

The sky's the limit for such a budding young player. With years to come in her professional career, you cannot but wonder how long it will take until she becomes a world number one.

4. Aitana Bonmati

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This has been the year for the midfielders, with a third midfield player taking the number four spot. Aitana Bonmati is exceptional when it comes to vision, pace and controlling the trajectory of a game. The Spaniard is entering her peak years and has become one of the most talked about players over the last six months following an emphatic season with Barcelona.

A tenacious baller and one that seemingly creates chances out of nothing, Bonmati is set to hold down a place as one of the best footballers of all time for years to come and will be a shoo-in for one of football's most significant accolades, the Ballon d'Or in a few months after finishing fifth last campaign.

3. Sam Kerr

Best female footballers in the world ranked 2023 (8)

Entering top three territory, Sam Kerr takes third place, the Chelsea striker being infamous among the women's game. Whilst she may not have been the WSL's top goalscorer or winner of the Golden Boot, Kerr's dominance in front of goal is exceptional and one that earns her a place among the best of the best.

Consistently showing up for club and country, Kerr's confidence in front of goal, aerial threat and leadership has helped guide Chelsea to their fourth consecutive WSL title and will no doubt be doing the same for her home nation Australia during the 2023 World Cup campaign on home soil.

2. Beth Mead

Best female footballers in the world ranked 2023 (9)

An ACL injury disrupted the best year of her career for Euros Golden Boot winner Beth Mead. The Arsenal forward is a certainty regarding the best players throughout the Euros and 22/23 season. Mead took centre stage at the summer triumph and played one of the most integral roles in the Lionesses securing their win.

In the three months of last season that she did play, Mead had continued her form, assisting and netting goals before the dreaded ACL injury halted her influence over the WSL.

Her work off the pitch has made her one of the greats of the current game, using her time away from football to raise money for causes close to her heart whilst she regains fitness in time for the start of the 23/24 campaign with the Gunners.

1. Alexia Putellas

Best female footballers in the world ranked 2023 (10)

Taking the number one spot is two-time Ballon d'Or winner, Champions League winning skipper – 'La Reina' – Alexia Putellas. Despite missing out on the Euros and suffering an ACL injury on the eve of the tournament, the 18 months being considered for this list means Putellas still tops the rankings.

Putellas is one of the most clinical finishers in the game, finishing the 21/22 domestic season as the top goalscorer with 18 goals and 15 assists and returned to Barcelona's pitch in time for the end of the 22/23 season and earned minutes during the emphatic Champions League final that saw the trophy return to the Catalans after a 4-2 victory.

As one of the greats of her generation, Putellas undoubtedly tops the list.

Read more:

  • Best football players in the world ranked 2023
  • Best Premier League players ranked 2023
  • Best football teams in the world 2023
  • Top 10 highest-paid Premier League players 2023

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Best female footballers in the world ranked 2023 (2024)
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