GOAT Women’s Soccer Players From All 32 World Cup Countries
The greatest showcase for women's soccer — maybe for all of women's sports — happens every four years when the FIFA Women's World Cup brings 32 countries together to compete for the honor of being the world's greatest squad.
Since 1991, the greatest soccer legends in the women's game have played for the Women's World Cup, where a star turn can turn you into a household name.
Here are the greatest women's soccer players of all time from the 32 countries playing in the 2023 Women's World Cup.
Argentina: Estefania Banini, Forward
Born: June 21, 1990 (Mendoza, Argentina)
Teams: Argentina Women's National Team (2009-present), Colo-Colo (2011-14), Washington Spirit (2015-16, 2017-19), Valencia (2016-17), Levante (2018-21), Atletico Madrid (2021-present)
Career highlights: Chile Player of the Year (2013), IFFHS Women's Team of the Decade (2010s), FIFpro Women's World XI (2021), Copa de la Reina champion (2023), four-time Torneo de Clausura Femenino champion (2011-14)
Bottom line: Estefania Banini helped lead Argentina to its first World Cup points in the team standings with a 0-0 tie against Japan in 2019 and then found herself exiled from the national team after she spoke out against head coach Carlos Borrello's coaching.
Banini rejoined the national team in April 2022 and is widely considered one of the best players in South America.
Australia: Sam Kerr, Forward
Born: Sept. 10, 1993 (East Fremantle, Australia)
Teams: Australia Women's National Team (2009–present), Perth Glory (2008-11, 2014-20), Sydney FC (2012-20), Sky Blue FC (2015-20), Chicago Red Stars (2018-20), Chelsea (2020-present)
Career highlights: Two-time NWSL Most Valuable Player (2017, 2019), three-time NWSL Golden Boot Award (2017-19), three-time PFA Women’s Footballer of the Year (2013, 2017, 2018), Asian Women’s Footballer of the Year (2017), two-time W-League Player of the Year (2009, 2014), four-time FA Women's Super League champion (2020-23), FIFA Women's World 11 (2022), Women's Super League Player of the Year (2022), AFC Women's Asian Cup Golden Boot (2022)
Bottom line: The daughter of former Australian Rules Football star Roger Kerr, Sam Kerr joined the Australian national soccer team when she was just 15 years old and became an unstoppable scoring force over the following decade.
Kerr is not only the leading scorer in Australian women's national team history, but she's also the leading scorer in NWSL history and the only woman to win the Golden Boot as the top scorer in three different leagues on three different continents.
Brazil: Marta, Forward
Born: Feb. 19, 1986 (Dois Riachos, Brazil)
Teams: Brazil Women’s National Team (2002-present), Vasco de Gama (2000-02), Santa Cruz (2002-04), Umea IK (2004-08), Los Angeles Sol (2009), Santos (2009-10), FC Gold Pride (2010), Santos (2011), Western New York Flash (2011), Tyreso FF (2012-14), FC Rosengard (2014-17), Orlando Pride (2017-present)
Career highlights: Six-time FIFA Women's World Player of the Year (2006-10, 2018), Women's World Cup runner-up (2007), two-time Olympics silver medalist (2004, 2008), two-time Pan Am Games champion (2003, 2007), Women’s World Cup Golden Ball (2007), Women's World Cup Golden Boot (2007), three-time WPS Golden Boot (2009-11), four-time FIFPro World XI (2016, 2017, 2019, 2021), IFFHS Women's Player of the Decade (2010s), IFFHS Women's Team of the Decade (2010s), WPS champion (2010), UEFA Women's Cup champion (2004)
Bottom line: Brazil's Marta is the only six-time winner of the FIFA World Player of the Year Award — male or female — and has accomplished almost everything a soccer player can accomplish, save for winning the Women's World Cup.
In 2007, Marta led Brazil to a runner-up finish at the Women's World Cup, and she's the Women's World Cup career leading scorer.
Canada: Christine Sinclair
Born: June 12, 1983 (Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada)
Teams: Canada Women's National Team (2000-present), Vancouver Breakers (2001-20), Vancouver Whitecaps FC (2006-08), FC Gold Pride (2009-10), Western New York Flash (2011-12), Portland Thorns (2013-present)
Career highlights: Olympic gold medalist (2021), CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup Best XI (2002), two-time CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup Golden Boot (2002, 2006), Olympic Golden Boot (2012), Pan Am Games Golden Boot (2011), WPS Championship Final MVP (2011), WPS Best IX (2011), 14-time Canadian Player of the Year (2000, 2004-14, 2016, 2018), two-time NWSL Second XI (2013, 2018), Canadian Player of the Decade (2010s), two-time NCAA Division I champion (2002, 2005), two-time WPS champion (2010, 2011), three-time NWSL champion (2013, 2017, 2022)
Bottom line: Perhaps the greatest Canadian female athlete of all time, Christine Sinclair's 190 career goals in international play are the most in soccer history for both men and women.
Sinclair led Canada to one of its greatest sports moments of all time in 2021 with a gold medal at the Olympics. She also led the University of Portland to two NCAA Division I national championships. Sinclair is absolutely minted in her home country — they even put her on a Canadian stamp.
China: Sun Wen, Forward
Born: April 6, 1973 (Shangai, China)
Teams: China Women's National Team (1990-2006), Shanghai (1989-2000), Shanghai SVA (2003, 2006)
Career highlights: Women's World Cup Golden Boot (1999), Women's World Cup Golden Ball (1999), FIFA Female Player of the Century (2002), Olympic silver medalist (1996), two-time Asian Games champion (1994, 1998)
Bottom line: Sun Wen is one of the greatest women's soccer players of all time — she played in four Women's World Cups and in two Olympics, leading China to a silver medal in 1996.
Wearing No. 9, Wen won the Women's World Cup Golden Ball and Golden Boot in 1999 as the tournament MVP and top scorer. She was also the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 WUSA Draft and named FIFA Player of the Century alongside Michelle Akers in 2002.
Colombia: Catalina Usme
Born: Dec. 25, 1989 (Marinilla, Colombia)
Teams: Colombia Women's National Team (2006-present), Formas Intimas (2009-16), America de Cali (2017, 2018-present), Santa Fe (2017)
Career highlights: Pan American Games champion (2019), two-time Copa America Femenina runner-up (2014, 2022)
Bottom line: Catalina Usme is a veteran of international competition — after 2023, she will have played in three Women's World Cups and two Olympics for her native Colombia.
In 75 appearances for the Colombia women's national team, Usme has 38 goals.
Costa Rica: Raquel Rodriguez
Born: Oct. 28, 1993 (San Jose, Costa Rica)
Teams: Costa Rica Women's National Team (2008-present), Sky Blue FC (2016-19), Perth Glory (2017-18), Portland Thorns (2020-present)
Career highlights: NWSL Rookie of the Year (2016), NWSL champion (2022), NCAA champion (2015)
Bottom line: The daughter of former Costa Rican men's national team player Sivianni Rodriguez, Raquel Rodriguez was born in Costa Rica but grew up playing mostly in the U.S. In fact, she scored the game-winning goal for Penn State in the 2015 NCAA championship game.
Rodriguez has been on the Costa Rica women's national team since she was 15 years old, and she also has an NWSL championship with the Portland Thorns in 2022.
Denmark: Pernille Harder, Midfielder/Forward
Born: Nov. 15, 1992 (Ikast, Denmark)
Teams: Denmark Women's National Team (2009-present), Skovbakken (2010-12), Linkoping (2012-16), Vfl. Wolfsburg (2017-20), Chelsea (2020-23), Bayern Munich (2023-present)
Career highlights: UEFA Women's Euro runner-up (2017), three-time FA Women's Super League champion (2021-23), three-time Women's FA Cup champion (2021-23), FA Women's League Cup champion (2021), seven-time Danish Football Player of the Year (2012, 2015-20), two-time Damallsvenskan MVP (2015, 2016), two-time FIFPro World XI (2017, 2020), UEFA Women's European Championship All-Star Team (2017), Danish Breakthrough Player of the Year (2010), four-time Bundesliga champion (2017-20), UEFA Women's Player of the Year (2018, 2020), World Soccer Women's Player of the Year (2020), IFFHS World Women's Player of the Year (2020)
Bottom line: Denmark's Pernille Harder became the highest-paid women's soccer player in the world after her transfer from VfL Wolfsburg to Chelsea in 2020 and has already won two UEFA Women's Player of the Year awards.
Harder has been on Denmark's women's national team since 2009 but is playing in the Women's World Cup for the first time in 2023. That's because Denmark had not played in the Women's World Cup since 2007 and hasn't made it past the quarterfinals since 1995.
England: Kelly Smith, Forward
Born: Oct. 29, 1978 (Watford, Hertfordshire, England)
Teams: England Women's National Team (1995-2014), Great Britain Women's National Team (2012), Wembley Ladies (1994-96), Arsenal Ladies (1996-97, 2005-09, 2012-17), New Jersey Lady Stallions (1999-2000), Philadelphia Charge (2001-03), New Jersey Wildcats (2004), Boston Breakers (2009-12)
Career highlights: Cyprus Cup champion (2009), UEFA Women's Championship runner-up (2009), five-time Premier League champion (1997, 2004, 2006-08), five-time FA Cup champion (2006-08, 2014, 2016), UEFA Women's Cup champion (2007)
Bottom line: Smith is the first women's soccer player from England to have a lasting impact on international competition. Smith played for England's women's national team in three different decades, including two trips to the Women's World Cup and an appearance for Great Britain in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Smith is England's career leader in goals scored in international competitions with 46 and finished in the top five in voting for FIFA Women's World Player of the Year four times.
France: Louisa Necib, Midfielder
Born: Jan. 23, 1987 (Marseille, France)
Teams: France Women's National Team (2005-16), CNFE Clairefontaine (2004-06), Montpelier (2006-07), Lyon (2007-16)
Career highlights: FIFA Women's World Cup All-Star Team (2011), UNFP Player of the Year (2009), Cyprus Cup (2012, 2014), nine-time Division 1 Feminine (2008-16), three-time UEFA Women's Champions League winner (2011, 2012, 2016), Valais Cup champion (2014), two-time Cyprus Cup champion (2012, 2014)
Bottom line: The French press dubbed Louisa Necib — now Louisa Cadamuro — the "Female Zidane" because of her ability on the pitch.
Necib played in two Women's World Cups for France and in the Summer Olympics once, although France struggled in international competition during that time.
Germany: Brigit Prinz, Striker
Born: Oct. 25, 1977 (Frankfurt, West Germany)
Teams: Germany Women's National Team (1994-2011), FSV Frankfurt (1993-98), 1 FFC Frankfurt (1998-2002, 2003-11), Carolina Courage (2002-03)
Career highlights: Two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion (2003, 2007), three-time FIFA World Player of the Year (2003-05), FIFA Women's World Cup Golden Ball (2003), two-time FIFA Women's World Cup All-Star Team (2003, 2007), eight-time German Player of the Year (2001-08), three-time Olympic bronze medalist (2000, 2004, 2008), UEFA Women's Championship Golden Player (1995), three-time UEFA Women's Cup champion (2002, 20006, 2008), nine-time Bundesliga champion (1995, 1998, 1999, 2001-03, 2005, 2007, 2008), eight-time German Cup champion (1999-03, 2007, 2008, 2011), five-time UEFA European Championship winner (1995, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2009)
Bottom line: Birgit Prinz was only 16 years old when she made her international debut for the German women's national team, and she wasted little time showing what was in store for the rest of her career by scoring a goal in the 89th minute.
Prinz would go on to lead Germany to two World Cup championships and scored 128 goals in international competition — she was also named FIFA Women's World Player of the Year three times. Prinz retired in 2011 at 34 years old and went to work as a sports psychologist for Bundesliga's men's and women's teams.
Haiti: Batcheba Louis, Forward
Born: June 15, 1997 (Quartier-Morin, Haiti)
Teams: Haiti Women's National Team (2014-present), Issy (2018-22), FC Fleury 91 (2022-present)
Career highlights: Women's World Cup qualifier (2023)
Bottom line: Haiti joined Jamaica as the second team from the Caribbean in the Women's World Cup after qualifying for the first time in 2023, thanks in no small part to the talents of Batcheba Louis.
The forward has been a scoring machine since joining the Haiti women's national team in 2014 at just 17 years old — she has 23 goals in just 13 appearances.
Ireland: Olivia O'Toole, Forward
Born: Feb. 25, 1971 (Dublin, Ireland)
Teams: Republic of Ireland National Team (1991-2009), Northwall (2010), St. Catherine's (2012)
Career highlights: Three-time Football Association of Ireland Women's Player of the Year
Bottom line: Olivia O'Toole captained Ireland's women's national team for 18 years, finishing her career with the career record for appearances (130) and international goals (54), which was the record for both the men's and women's teams until Robbie Keane broke it in 2012.
Despite all her accomplishments, O'Toole never got a chance to play for Ireland in the Women's World Cup — the country is making its first appearance in 2023.
Italy: Carolina Morace, Striker
Born: Feb. 5, 1964 (Venice, Italy)
Teams: Italy Women's National Team (1978-97), Belluno (1978-79), Bardolino (1979-82), Lazio (1982-84, 1987-89), Trani (1985-87), Reggiana (1989-91), Milan Salvarani (1991-93), Torres (1993-94), Agliana (1994-95), Verona (1995-96), Modena (1996-98)
Career highlights: 12-time Italian League champion, six-time European Championship winner, two-time UEFA European Women's Championship runner-up
Bottom line: Carolina Morace made her debut playing for Italy's women's national team in 1978 when she was just 14 years old and remained on the squad for 19 years, scoring 105 goals in 150 appearances.
Morace scored the first hat trick at the Women's World Cup against Chinese Taipei in 1991 and is also the first woman in the Italian Football Hall of Fame. Morace has continued to make history since her playing career ended — she became the first woman to coach a men's professional team in 1992 and has also been the head coach for the Italian and Canadian women's national teams.
Jamaica: Khadija Shaw, Forward
Born: Jan. 31, 1997 (Spanish Town, Jamaica)
Teams: Jamaica Women's National Team (2015-present), Florida Krush (2018), Bordeaux (2019-21), Manchester City (2021-present)
Career highlights: CONCACAF Female Player of the Year (2022), FA Women's League Cup champion (2022), CONCACAF Best XI (2018), Guardian Footballer of the Year (2018)
Bottom line: Khadija Shaw has been one of the elite women's soccer players in the world for the last five years. The player The New York Times once dubbed the "female Zion Williamson" led a Caribbean country to the Women's World Cup for the first time in 2019 and then back again in 2023.
Shaw had a little help in reviving soccer in Jamaica from Cedella Marley, the daughter of famed reggae singer Bob Marley, who stepped in with a donation to keep the team alive when it was on the brink of closing up shop for good in 2014.
One love, indeed.
Japan: Homare Sawa, Midfielder
Born: Sept. 6, 1978 (Tokyo, Japan)
Teams: Japan Women's National Team (1993-2015), NTV Beleza (1991-99), Denver Diamonds (1999-2000), Atlanta Beat (2001-03), Nippon TV Beleza (2004-10), Washington Freedom (2009-10), INAC Kobe Leonessa (2011-15)
Career highlights: FIFA Women's World Cup champion (2011), FIFA Woen's World Cup Golden Ball (2011), FIFA Women's World Cup All-Star Team (2011), FIFA World Player of the Year (2011), two-time East Asian Football Championship winner (2008, 2010), Asian Games champion (2010), Olympic silver medalist (2012), AFC Women's Asian Cup winner (2014), eight-time Nadeshiko League champion (1991-93, 2005-08, 2010), AFC Women's Player of the Year (2004, 2008), two-time Nadeshiko League MVP (2006, 2008), two-time AFC Women's Player of They Year (2004, 2008), AFC Women's Player of the Decade (2010s)
Bottom line: Japan's Homare Sawa was practicing with her older brother's soccer team when she was just 6 years old and was playing for the Japan women's national team by the time she was 15 years old. Sawa went on to play for six Women's World Cups and four Olympic games over the next 22 years and is one of the most decorated players in international soccer history.
Sawa put a bow on her career when she led Japan to the Women's World Cup title in 2011 with a massive upset against the U.S. on the way to winning Golden Ball and Golden Boot honors.
Morocco: Ghizlane Chebbak
Born: Aug. 22, 1990 (Casablanca, Morocco)
Teams: Morocco Women's National Team (2018-present), ASFAR (2012-present)
Career highlights: UNAF Women's Tournament champion (2020), Africa Cup of Nations MVP (2022), 10-time Moroccan Women's Championship winner (2013, 2014, 2016-23), UNA Women's Club Tournament champion (2021)
Bottom line: Ghizlane Chebbak is a second-generation player for Morocco on the international level after her father, Larbi Chebbak, played for Morocco in the early 1970s.
Ghizlane has cut her own path in guiding Morocco to the Women's World Cup for the first time in history in 2023. She started playing for her country in 2007 when she was just 17 years old, and she's become its leading scorer with 21 goals in 61 appearances.
Netherlands: Lieke Martens, Wing
Born: Dec. 16, 1992 (Bergen, Netherlands)
Teams: Netherlands Women's National Team (2011-present), Heerenveen (2009-10), VVV-Venlo (2010-11), Standard Liege (2011-12), Duisburg (2012-14), Kopparbergs/Goteborg FC (2014-15), Rosengard (2016-17), FC Barcelona (2017-22), Paris Saint Germain (2022-present)
Career highlights: FIFA Women's World Cup runner-up (2019), UEFA Women's Player of the Year (2017), three-time Primera Division champion (2020-22), UEFA Women's Champions League winner (2021), FIFPro World XI (2017), UEFA Women's Championship Tournament MVP (2017), IFFHS Women's World Team (2017)
Bottom line: Martens was named FIFA Women's World Player of the Year in 2017, followed by leading the Netherlands to a Women's World Cup runner-up finish and leading Barcelona to the Champions League final in 2019.
Martens has been the player who put the Netherlands on the world stage — she scored the first Women's World Cup goal in her country's history in 2015.
New Zealand: Amber Hearn
Born: Nov. 22, 1984 (Hendeson, New Zealand)
Teams: New Zealand Women's National Team (2004-18), Arsenal (2004-20), Doncaster Rovers Belles (2005-06), Ottawa Fury (2009-10), Lynn-Avon United (2011), FF USV Jena (2011-17), 1. FC Koln (2017-18), Dux Logrono (2018-20)
Career highlights: IFFHS OFC Women's Team of the Decade (2010s), New Zealand Footballer of the Year (2010)
Bottom line: It's a shame the greatest player in New Zealand women's soccer history won't get to play for her country when it hosts the World Cup in 2023 — Amber Hearn set the record with 54 goals in 125 international matches from 2004 to 2018.
That's not to say Hearn didn't get plenty of experience in that arena, as she played for New Zealand in the Women's World Cup twice in 2011 and 2015 and also in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Nigeria: Perpetua Nkwocha
Born: Jan. 3, 1976 (Abuja, Nigeria)
Teams: Nigeria Women's National Team (1999-2015), Sunnana SK (2007-14)
Career highlights: Four-time Africa Women's Footballer of the Year (2004, 2005, 2010, 2011), five-time Africa Women's Championship winner (2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2014)
Bottom line: Perpetua Knwocha was the premiere player for the Nigerian women's national team for almost 20 years, leading her country to five African Women's Soccer Championships and being named Africa Women's Footballer of the Year four times.
Nigeria is no stranger to the Women's World Cup — they've qualified for every single one, beginning with the first in 1991. The team had their best showing ever in 2019, when they made it to the Round of 16 for the first time.
Norway: Hege Riise, Midfielder
Born: July 18, 1969 (Lorenskog, Norway)
Teams: Norway Women's National Team (1990-2006), Setskog Holland (1992-95, 1997-2000), Nikkon Securities Dream Ladies (1995-97), Asker FK Oslo (2000), Carolina Courage (2000-05), Team Strommen (2005-06)
Career highlights: FIFA Women's World Cup champion (1995), UEFA Women's World Championship winner (1993), Olympic gold medalist (2000), Olympic bronze medalist (1996), FIFA Women's World Cup Golden Ball (1995), UEFA Women's Championship Golden Player (1993)
Bottom line: Hege Riise chose soccer over playing handball and skiing — she was a youth star in all three sports and played soccer with boys' teams until she was 14 years old.
Riise is one of the greatest winners in international soccer history and is one of just three women to win a World Cup, UEFA championship and Olympic gold medal. She also won two WUSA championships with the Carolina Courage, earning team MVP honors in both years.
Panama: Yenith Bailey, Goalkeeper
Born: March 29, 2001 (Panama City, Florida)
Teams: Panama Women's National Team (2017-present), Tauro (2019), Libertad/Limpeno (2019), Dimas Escazu (2022), Tauro (2023-present)
Career highlights: CONCACAF Women's Championship Golden Glove (2018), CONCACAF Women's Championship Best XI (2018)
Bottom line: You won't find many goalkeepers on this list, but Yenith Bailey lifted the Panamanian women's national team into the Women's World Cup for the first time ever in 2023 thanks to her skills guarding the net.
Bailey was moved from forward to goalkeeper in 2017 and won the CONCACAF Women's Championship Golden Glove award just one year later.
Philippines: Quinley Quezada
Born: April 7, 1997 (Rosemead, California)
Teams: Philippines Women's National Team (2018-present), Xinbei Hangyuan (2020), Legends FC (2021), JEF United Chiba (2021-22), Red Star Belgrade (2022-present)
Career highlights: AFF Women's League champion (2022), Southeast Asian Games third place (2021)
Bottom line: Quinley Quezada was born in the U.S. and grew up playing in California — her father is Mexican, and her mother is Filipino.
Quezada played NCAA Division I soccer for UC Riverside and has been with the Philippines National Women's Team since 2018. In 45 appearances for her country, she's scored 22 goals.
Portugal: Jessica Silva
Born: Dec. 11, 1994 (Vila Nova de Milfrontes, Portugal)
Teams: Portugal Women's National Team (2011-present), Clube de Albergaria (2011-16), Linkopings FC (2014), Braga (2016-17), Levante (2017-19), Olympique Lyonnais (2019-21), Kansas City Current (2021-22), Benfica (2022-present)
Career highlights: UEFA Women's Champions League winner (2020), Division 1 Feminine champion (2020), two-time Campeonato Nacional Feminino (2022, 2023), two-time Svenska Cupen champion (2014, 2015)
Bottom line: Jessica Silva became the first women's soccer player from Portugal to win a UEFA Women's Champions League title in 2020, bringing home the hardware with Olympique Lyonnais.
Silva joined the Portugal women's national team in 2011 and led the team to its first Women's World Cup appearance in 2023.
South Africa: Portia Modise
Born: June 20, 1983 (Soweto, South Africa)
Teams: South Africa Women's National Team (2000-15), Fortuna Hjorring (2007-09), Palace Super Falcons (2009-12), Croesus Ladies (2014-15)
Career highlights: Women's African Football Championship MVP (2006), FIFA Women's World Player of the Year finalist (2005)
Bottom line: Portia Modise's career proved nothing less than historic for not just South Africa but for her whole continent when she became the first African player to score 100 goals in international competition in 2014.
Modise, who was a FIFA Women's World Cup Player of the Year finalist in 2005, retired in 2015.
South Korea: Cho So-hyun, Midfielder
Born: June 24, 1988 (Seoul, South Korea)
Teams: South Korea Women's National Team (2007-present), Suwon FMC (2009-10), Hyundai Steel Red Angels (2011-17), INAC Kobe Leonessa (2016), Avaldsnes IL (2018), West Ham United (2019-21), Tottenham Hotspur (2021-present)
Career highlights: KFA Footballer of the Year (2015), Four Nations Tournament runner-up (2019), AFC Women's Asian Cup finalist (2022), five-time WK League champion (2010, 2013-15, 2017), Women's FA Cup finalist (2019)
Bottom line: The greatest South Korean women's soccer player of all time, Cho So-hyun has appeared in international matches 145 times since 2007 and was the KFA MVP in 2015.
Cho has played in the top women's leagues in the world over the last 16 years, but her impact can truly be felt with South Korean's women's national team, where she's helped guide them to a third consecutive Women's World Cup appearance in 2023.
Spain: Jennifer Hermoso
Born: May 29, 1990 (Madrid, Spain)
Teams: Spain Women's National Team (2012-present), Atletico Madrid (2004-10, 2018-19), Rayo Vallecano (2010-13), Tyreso FF (2013), FC Barcelona (2013-17, 2019-22), Paris Saint Germain (2017-18), Pachuca (2022-present)
Career highlights: Algarve Cup champion (2017), Cyprus Cup champion (2018), seven-time Primera Division champion (2011, 2014, 2015, 2019-22), UEFA Women's Champions League winner (2021), UEFA Champions League Forward of the Year (2021), Primera Division champion (2019)
Bottom line: Spain's Jennifer Hermoso — just "Jenni" to Spanish fans — has been an elite scorer since she joined the national team in 2012 and scored two goals in a win over South Africa in her country's Women's World Cup opener in 2019.
Sweden: Lotta Schelin, Forward
Born: Feb. 27, 1984 (Trangsund, Sweden)
Teams: Sweden Women's National Team (2004-18), Goteborg (2001-08), Olympique Lyon (2008-16), FC Rosengard (2016-18)
Career highlights: FIFA Women's World Cup All-Star (2011), three-time Diamantbollen Forward of the Year (2006, 2013, 2014), Swedish Premier Division MVP (2006), UEFA Women's European Championship Golden Boot (2013), eight-time Division 1 Feminine champion (2009-16), three-time UEFA Women's Champion League winner (2011, 2012, 2016), Olympic silver medalist (2016), Svenska Cup champion (2016), French Player of the Year (2013)
Bottom line: Lotta Schelin set the Swedish record with 88 goals in 185 caps — quite an accomplishment for a player who almost had to quit playing as a teenager because of a spinal condition.
Schelin went on to play for Sweden in three Women's World Cups and the Summer Olympics four times. She's also Lyon's career club leader with 143 goals in 138 matches. Schelin's best finish in international competition was a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics. Chronic head and neck pain forced her to retire in 2018.
Switzerland: Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic
Born: Oct. 3, 1990 (Steffisburg, Switzerland)
Teams: Switzerland Women's National Team (2009-present), FC Rot-Schwartz Thun (2004-09), FC Thun (2009), Hamburger SV (2009-10), FFC Frankfurt (2011-18), Portland Thorns FC (2018-19), Barcelona (2019-present)
Career highlights: Swiss Cup champion (2009), three-time UEFA Women's Champions League champion (2015, 2021, 2023)
Bottom line: Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic has dual citizenship with Switzerland and Croatia and could have played for the women's national team in either country — but she's been with the Swiss since 2009.
Cronogorcevic has spent her time as a pro playing against the very best competition in the world, from the Bundesliga to the NWSL to winning three UEFA Women's Champions League titles.
United States: Mia Hamm
Born: March 17, 1972 (Selma, Alabama)
Teams: U.S. Women’s National Team (1987-2004), Washington Freedom (2001-03)
Career highlights: Two-time FIFA World Player of the Year (2001, 2002), two-time Women’s World Cup champion (1991, 1999), two-time Olympic gold medalist (1996, 2004), four-time NCAA champion (1989, 1990, 1992, 1993)
Bottom line: Mia Hamm is the youngest player in the history of the U.S. women's national team, making her debut in 1987 when she was just 15 years old.
The U.S. team hit unprecedented levels of success over the next two decades with Hamm as the face of the team, leading them to two World Cup titles, two Olympic gold medals and earning FIFA Women's World Player of the Year twice.
Hamm retired in 2004 as the leading goal scorer in the history of international soccer competition with 158 goals.
Vietnam: Huynh Nhu
Born: Nov. 28, 1991 (Chau Thanh, Tra Vinh, Vietnam)
Teams: Vietnam Women's National Team (2011-present), Ho Chi Minh City (2007-22), Lank FC Vilaverdense (2022-present)
Career highlights: Five-time Vietnamese Women's Golden Ball (2016, 2019, 2020-22), four-time Vietnamese Women's Football Championship Best of Tournament (2018-21), two-time Women's Vietnamese Cup Best of Tournament (2020, 2021)
Bottom line: Huynh Nhu made her pro soccer debut with Ho Chi Minh City in 2007 at just 16 years old, and she's gone on to win the Vietnamese Women's Golden Ball five times since, including three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022.
Nhu made history in 2022 when she became the first Vietnamese player to join a professional team in Europe when she signed with Portugal's Lank FC Vilaverdense. Vietnam is playing in the Women's World Cup for the first time in 2023.
Zambia: Barbra Banda
Born: March 20, 2000 (Lusaka, Zambia)
Teams: Zambia Women's National Team (2016-present), Green Buffaloes (2016-18), Logrono (2018-20), Shanghai Shengli (2020-present)
Career highlights: Chinese Women's Super League Golden Ball (2020), COSAFA Women's Cup Golden Ball (2022)
Bottom line: You'd be hard-pressed to find another women's soccer player in the world with a background like Zambia's Barbra Banda — she went unbeaten in five professional fights as a boxer before giving up the sport to focus on soccer.
Banda's decision has been women's soccer's gain, as she became the first women's soccer player to post back-to-back hat tricks in the Olympics and the first with two hat tricks in one Olympics.