The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 hosted by Australia and New Zealand will begin on July 20. A total of 32 teams will be playing in this edition and the tournament is expected to pave the way for several young talents from across the world.
Throughout the years, the World Cup has proved to be a launching pad for many stars like Mana Iwabuchi, Alex Morgan, Alexandra Popp and Hope Solo.
Outstanding performances by a country’s players have inspired many more to join the sport. For instance, Japan’s victory at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup inspired young Jun Endo to continue her football career.
Here is the list of some players to look out for:
Salma Paralluelo is a Spanish left-winger who plays for FC Barcelona in Liga F. She played a pivotal role and filled in for Alexia Putellas, helping the team extend its world record of winning consecutive league games (64).
The 19-year-old shined in her debut season with the 2023 Liga F winners, scoring 10 goals in 15 games. She was also part of the Spanish side that won the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, hoping to continue the winning streak.
Lauren Hemp, the 22-year-old England forward, has written her name in Lionesses history when she helped the team win the UEFA Women’s Euros 2022.
Her corner helped the side score the second winning goal and contributed greatly to the multiple record-breaking titles.
She plays for Manchester City and has scored 52 goals for the team across all formats. Having played a crucial part in claiming the inaugural Arnold Clark Cup in 2022 and in 2023, the young player is expected to continue her performance for England at the 2023 World Cup.
A 14-year-old prodigy, Linda Caicedo, finished as the top scorer (9) in her debut at the Colombian football league, helping her team win its first domestic title in 2019.
Since then, she has been on the watch list of many football clubs and currently plays for Real Madrid. For her performance at the 2022 Copa America Femenina, the teenager won the Golden Ball despite Colombia having to settle for second place. The team will hope for Caicedo to continue delivering for the country.
Sophia Smith is an American forward who plays for Portland Thorns FC in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and the United States National team.
In 2022 alone, she won the U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year, and NWSL MVP award, leading Portland to its third league title while also scoring 11 goals for the U.S. in 2022 in 17 matches. Her goal streak has continued in 2023 and she is expected to be a key player for the US.
Playing as a forward for NWSL club Angel City FC and the Japan women’s national team, 23-year-old Jun Endo is a dangerous crosser and a key player on the wings.
With very little International playing time over the past two years, Endo has produced three goals and three assists from 17 chances, proving her abundance of talent.
She was part of the 2018 U-20 World Cup which saw Japan win its first title and will hope to contribute to her country’s senior team.
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