Here, we present you the top 5 active female footballers in the world. This is a special feature coincides with the ongoing 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, being held in Canada. Japan are the reigning champions of the 2011 edition held in Germany. The 1st knockout round of this tournament begins tonight, at 16:00 Easter Daylight Time (USA/Canada).
1. Nadine Kessler
Club: Vfl Wolfsburg Frauen (Germany)
Position: Attacking Midfielder
She is the reigning FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year 2014, which she won at the 2014 Ballon d’Or, with 17.52% votes, beating 2010 winner Marta (14.16%) of Brazil, and 2012 winner Abby Wambach (13.33%) of Germany. Her performance for Wolfsburg since 2011 has been phenomenal, with whom she has won the Bundesliga and UEFA Women’s Champions league twice (both 2012 and 2013), and the German Cup once (2012).
Although she captains the German National Women’s Team, she missed out on this year’s World Cup due to a knee injury suffered last year in October. Hopefully, she will return to action soon, after her surgery. She is currently enrolled at the German University for Prevention and Health Management, Saarbrücken, where she is pursuing an MBA.
2. Fran Kirby
Club: Reading FC Women (England)
She has been dubbed the ‘Mini Messi’, and is widely touted to take on the mantle from the likes of Marta and Kessler, in a few years.. She joined Reading at the age of seven, and worked her way up to the senior team. She briefly quit football at the age of 16, only to come back stronger 2 years later, again to Reading. Her mercurial talent brought her to the attention of national team coach Mark Sampson, and she scored on her full international debut against Sweden in a 4-0 win.
Her goal against Colombia, during the group stage of the ongoing Women’s World Cup, helped England reach the Round of 16, where they are set to face Norway.
Club: Olympique Lyonnais Féminin (France)
Position: Winger/Playmaking Midfielder
Affectionately nicknamed Ziza by the French media, her frequent comparison with Zinedine Zidane does not just end in their Algerian ancestry. She also grew up in Marseille, she is a gifted playmaker, with an elegant 1st touch, and she scores beautiful goals.
After plying her trade with Montpellier for a season, where she helped them win the 2007 Challenge de France, she signed for Lyon in 2007. She has been the heart of the Lyon team ever since, with whom she has won the Division 1 Féminin a record 8 consecutive times, from 2008 to 2015. She reached 100 caps for France at the age of 26, and is contracted to Lyon till 2016. She is set to play for France in the quarterfinals of the 2015 Women’s World Cup, against South Korea.
4. Marta Vieira da Silva
Club: FC Rosengård Dam (Denmark)
Marta is arguably the best footballer of the current generation, she has amassed a room full of individual and team honours. She was named the FIFA Women’s World Player of the year a record 5 times, from 2006 to 2010, consecutively, since 2011 she has always finished 2nd or 3rd in the final voting.
After being discovered when she was only 14, she went on to join Umeå IK at the age of 18, and won the UEFA Cup in 2004, her first season at the Danish club. She later spent her career in USA and Brazil, but returned to Denmark in 2012 with Tyresö FF. After being linked to PSG in 2014, she opted to join Rosengård on a short term contract. With Brazil, she has won both the Pan-American Games (2003, 2007) and the Copa America Femenino (2003, 2010) twice.
5. Ji So-Yun
Nation: South Korea
Club: Chelsea Ladies FC (England)
So-Yun entered record books as the youngest ever goal-scorer for the South Korean national Team, when she score two goals against Taiwan in the 2006 Asian Games, at the age of 15 years, 282 days. She was not even on a professional contract back then, while being on the school football team of Dongsan Information Industry High School.
Her club career begun when she joined Japanese football club Leonessa in 2011, and helped them win the L. League three times in a row, from 2011 to 2013. Her club performance caught notice of scouts from Europe, and after being linked with Chelsea in November 2013, joined them in Januray 2014. She has already won the hearts of her English fans, winning the PFA Women’s Player of the Year 2015 after her first full season.