The 5 Best Female Soccer Players Of All Time

Let's look back at some of the players who have shaped women's soccer into what it is today.

We here at The18 put our heads together (it was me, it was all me, do not blame anyone else for this) and came up with this list of the five best female soccer players ever. We're sure everyone agrees wholeheartedly that our selections are correct and, dare we say, inarguable. So read them and then let us know how right we are about everything.


Marta is simply the best ever. The Brazilian international was named FIFA World Player of the Year five consecutive times from 2006-2010. She has also been the runner-up for the award four times and third place twice. Marta currently plies her trade with the Orlando Pride in the NWSL. 

Mia Hamm

Mia Hamm scored 157 goals for the USWNT during her career (astonishingly, she's not the USWNT's all-time leading scorer, Abby Wambach is), and won four NCAA championships, two World Cups and two Olympic gold medals. She was the first woman elected into the World Football Hall of Fame.

Michelle Akers

In 2002, Akers was named the FIFA Female Player of the Century (obviously for the 20th century). She scored both goals in the USWNT's victory over Norway in the 1991 World Cup final. She was also a member of the 1999 World Cup-winning side. She scored 107 goals for the USWNT in just 155 games for the USWNT.

Sun Wen

At the 1999 World Cup (which China famously lost the final in a shootout against the United States), Sun Wen managed to win both the Golden Boot (top scorer) and Golden Ball (top player). Overall, she scored 106 goals for China in 152 matches. She's the player most associated with China's golden age of soccer.

Homare Sawa

Homare Sawa was perhaps the most consistent female player of all time. As a white male sportswriter, this is the part where I'm supposed to mention Cal Ripken Jr., so here. Sawa's goal to equalize against the USA in the 117th minute of the 2011 World Cup final will go down as one of the most dramatic goals in World Cup history (Japan won the ensuing penalty shootout). Sawa scored 87 goals in 204 appearances for Japan. She made her professional debut in Japan at age 12 and her international debut at age 15.

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