With ten days to go until the opening games of the FIFA 2019 Women’s World Cup, we speak to Toffee Club marketing assistant Aimee Olivas about the ten players she is most excited to watch this summer.
In what is set to be one of the most competitive World Cups ever, I present to you 10 players who I believe will make a major difference for their countries.
1. Lindsey Horan (USA) – Lindsey Horan, who at only 18 made her professional debut for French club Paris St Germain, returns to France this summer to represent USA in her first World Cup. Horan, who now plays for Portland Thorns FC as a central midfielder, will be playing the same role for the USA. She’s grown up from the 18-year-old who arrived in France back in 2012. These days Horan is a player who will govern the midfield and lead the attack.
2. Estefanía Banini (Argentina) – Argentina returns to the World Cup stage for the first time in 12 years, and this summer is just the start. After many years of fighting with their own federation for equality, their battle continues this summer as they face the “group of death”. Not to worry! La Albiceleste have a player that many fans refer to as the female Lionel Messi. Their captain, Estefania Banini will make her World Cup debut at the age of 28. Although Argentina is not expected to make it out of the group stages, when you have nothing to lose you have everything to hope for and Banini leads them in that hope.
3. Sam Kerr (Australia) – I predict a lot of backflips for this prolific scorer this summer. Sam Kerr is heading to her third World Cup, and she is hoping to get past the quarter finals this time. Over the past four years her goals have accumulated along with many trophies and record-breaking achievements. The Matildas are considered a dark horse to win the tournament, and if they do you can bet many of those goals will come from Sam Kerr.
4. Christine Sinclair (Canada) – Heading into her fifth World Cup, all eyes will be set on Sinclaire as she captains Canada throughout the tournament. She will be trying to break the record set by Abby Wambach for most international goals scored.
5. Christiane Endler (Chile) – Chile might be making their first ever World Cup appearance, but this naturally talented group of players is in good hands with their captain and goalkeeper Christiane Endler. Standing at six feet tall she is known for her strong, yet agile presence in the box. Endler is no stranger to some of the players she will be facing after stints with Everton, Chelsea and Valencia before her current position at PSG.
6. Jody Brown (Jamaica) – This 17 year old was named the best young player by the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship and is still only in high school. The crucial goals she scored during the qualification process have lead to her heading to France.
7. Fran Kirby (England) – England has been eliminated in the semi-finals of their last two major tournaments (the Euros and last World Cup), but they are one of the favorites to win in France this summer. Kirby is going to have to play a major role in helping her team achieve that feat, despite injuries that have plagued her over the past few months.
8. Barbara Bonansea (Italy) – Italy’s football has been disappointing lately with this team failing to qualify for the 2015 World Cup and the men’s side failing to qualify in 2018. But a return to the World Cup stage after a 20-year absence has this Juventus star ready to reignite hope in her nation. Keep an eye out for her knack for mouth watering goals and knuckleball free kicks.
9. Ji So-Yun (South Korea) – The Chelsea star is the heartbeat of this national team. Operating as their number 10, the veteran can be trusted to dictate the South Korean entire attack and get them through to the knockout stages of the tournament.
10. Irene Paredes (Spain) – You don’t expect your center backs to score goals, but that is something this captain can do well. Paredes is set to lead her team this summer after disappointing results for the team’s 2015 World Cup. This team has shown steady growth since this first appearance at the tournament and they are ready for their 2019 World Cup campaign.
We look forward to cheering these players and more on with you next month!
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