The 15 Best Women Soccer Players Of All Time

Not long ago, people used to think that women were not capable of playing Soccer. Just three decades ago, there were no international women’s soccer tournaments. In 1991, finally, FIFA organized the first ever Women’s Soccer World Cup, and the women were no less impressive than men.

Since then, women’s Soccer has come a long way in the last decades. There have been some great players who have been the poster girls of women’s Soccer. Because of them, women Soccer reached the status it holds today.

In this article, we will feature the 15 best women Soccer players of all time whose contributions and achievements will always be remembered.

Best Women Soccer Players of All Time

Over the years, there have been many great women soccer players. As the WUSA team has been dominating women’s soccer so far, many of the great players have not won the world cups. Still, these women are the best in their own right.

1. Marta

Full NameMarta Vieira da Silva
Date of BirthFebruary 19, 1986
Birth’s PlaceDois Riachos, Alagoas, Brazil.
National Team Debut2002 
World CupN/A
Olympic Silver Medal2004, 2008
FIFA World Player of the Year2006, 07, 08, 09, 2010, 18.
Played in ClubsOrlando Pride
Net Worth$13 million

The Brazilian midfielder is one of a kind talent. It won’t be an exaggeration if it is said that Marta carried Brazilian Soccer on her shoulders for a long time. After debuting in 2002 for the national women’s team of Brazil, Marta showed skills that only a Brazilian soccer player could display.

Marta quickly made an impression, and she was given the nickname “Pele in Skirt.” She has dodged and played around the defenders and made them look like fools countless times in the field over the last two decades, and she is still doing it.

She shows excellent dribbling skills, along with a great vision to create goal chances, and she can finish it off in style as well. Her personal achievement list is long and includes winning the FIFA World Player of the Year award six times. She won the award five times in a row from 2006 to 2010.

Marta led Brazil to two consecutive Olympics finals in 2004 and 2008, but unfortunately lost both times to the USA and won the silver medals. At the age of 36, she is still playing at her full speed and is expected to play in the 2023 FIFA world cup too.

Marta is the leading goal scorer for Brazil, with 115 goals. Also, she leads the top scorer chart in the women’s world cup with 17 goals. With so much personal accomplishment, she surely deserves to be at the top of the best women soccer players of all time list.

2. Mia Hamm

Mia Hamm
Full NameMariel Margaret Hamm-Garciaparra
Date of BirthMarch 17, 1972
Birth’s PlaceSelma, Alabama, US
National Team Debut1987
World Cup1991, 1999
Olympic Gold Medal1996, 2004
Played in ClubsWashington Freedom
Net Worth$40 Million

If you want to talk about women’s soccer, you cannot ignore the name Mia Hamm. She was the face of women’s soccer in the 90s. The 90s USA women’s soccer team was unstoppable, and Mia Hamm was the flag bearer of that dominance.

Mia played for the USA team from 1987 to 2004. She had been an impressive player from the very beginning of her career. However, it was during the first world cup that she became one of the biggest stars of women’s Soccer.

Mia participated in four world cups and scored 8 goals along with 5 assists. In her 16-year-long career, she led the WUSA team to two world cup victories and two times won gold in the Olympics. In 2001, FIFA decided to award “women’s world player of the year.” Mia Hamm won the year in the first couple of years.

By 2004, before retiring, Mia Hamm scored 168 international goals and had 145 assists. With so many accolades by her name, she is definitely one of the best women’s soccer players of all time.

3. Michelle Akers

Michelle Akers
Full NameMichelle Anne Akers
Date of BirthFebruary 1, 1966
Birth’s PlaceSanta Clara, California, US 
National Team DebutAug. 18, 1985
PositionStriker, central midfielder
World Cup1991, 1999
Olympic Gold Medal1996
Played in ClubsOrlando Lions Women, Tyresö FF
ResidenceSanta Clara
Net Worth$12 million

Akkers is one of the legends from the 90s who popularized women’s Soccer across the globe. She showed the aggression, skill, and dedication for the sport that it needed. Fans saw her running with the ball with awestruck charisma.

Akkers began her pro soccer career as a striker, and she was superb in it. In the first edition of the women’s world cup, Akkers were in ballistic mode. She scored a record 10 goals in the world cup. Because of the Akkers, the USA won the world cup with sheer dominance.

Akkers’ 10 goals in one edition of the world is still an unbroken record. She was the face of American Soccer before Mia Hamm had her debut. She was too fast to be challenged by the opposition defenders. Unfortunately, Akkers had an injury that made it difficult for her to play as a striker.

Anyone would have been devastated by the injury, but Akkers was an iron-will woman. She was determined to keep playing for her country. And soon, she started playing as a defender. Her role was completely switched. And as a defender, she was equally great too.

Akkers scored the first-ever goal for team USA in Soccer. Afterward, there was no turning back till she fell victim to injury. Akkers was declared the best women’s soccer player of the previous century.

Akkers is the only player in the women’s soccer team who shined in two different paths. She retired in 2000, and by then, she had played 153 matches for the USA team and scored 105 goals.

4. Abby Wambach

Abby Wambach
Full NameMary Abigail Wambach
Date of BirthJune 2, 1980
Birth’s PlaceRochester, New York, US
National Team Debut2001
World Cup2015
Olympic Gold Medal2004, 2012
Played in ClubsRochester Spirit 
Net Worth$85 MILLION

Abby Wambach was a goal machine with the finest header skill in women’s soccer history. Wambach had her national team debut in 2001 and instantly brought the spotlight on her. She had a great ability to score, and she kept improving with every match.

Though Wambach scored 6 goals in the 2007 world cup, the USA could not make it to the final. They ranked 3rd position in the tournament, and Wambach was the second-highest scorer in the tournament.

Wambach scored 9 goals in the two Olympic tournaments she played, and both times the USA became the champion and won the gold. However, it was the world cup that she was looking to hold. Unfortunately, despite her constant scoring, the USA was not making it big. Finally, in the 2015 world cup, Wmabach’s dream came true when she became the champion of the world.

Wambach scored 14 goals in four world cup tournaments. She was also the 2012 FIFA women’s player of the world. Before retiring, Wambach’s statistics had 184 goals by her name, among which 77 goals came out of headers. She was inducted into the 2019 USA hall of fame class because of her contribution to USA women’s soccer.

5. Birgit Prinz

Birgit Prinz
Full NameBirgit Prinz
Date of Birth25 October 1977
Birth’s PlaceFrankfurt, West Germany
National Team Debut1994
World Cup2003, 2007
UEFA European Championship1995, 97, 2001, 05, 09
Olympic Bronze Medal2000, 2004, and 2008
FIFA World Player of the Year2003, 04, 05
Played in ClubsFFC Frankfurt
Net Worth$34 Million

Printz was born in 1977 in Frankfurt and had her international debut only at the age of 16. She had one of the best debuts in the history of women’s Soccer. She came into the pitch as a substitute player in the 72nd minute and scored a match-winning goal 17 minutes later.

In her debut, she proved that she was going to make a name for herself, and she did. In the 2003 world cup, Printz won the golden boot with seven goals and led Germany to win the World Cup for the first time. Printz played a key role in retaining the world cup in the next edition as well.

During her 18-year career, Germany won five European Championships as well. She won three consecutive FIFA best player awards from 2003 to 2005. She achieved everything there was to achieve for herself.

Before retiring in 2011, she scored 128 goals off 214 matches. She played the most number of matches for the German women’s team and also held the record for the most goals scored. She is undeniably a legend of the sport.

6. Kelly Smith

Kelly Smith
Full NameKelly Jayne Smith
Date of Birth29 October 1978
Birth’s PlaceWatford, Hertfordshire, England
NationalityBritish/ English
National Team Debut1 November 1995
World CupN/A
Olympic Gold MedalN/A
Played in ClubsNew Jersey Wildcats, Arsenal, and Boston Breakers
RetirementFebruary 2015 
ResidenceBirmingham, England
Net Worth$181,8 Million

The English legendary forward Kelly Smith was born in 1978 and made her debut for England national soccer team in 1995, only at the age of 17. The England soccer team had a reputation for not being able to play attacking games. Smith was the first player to break that tradition.

Smith was a dangerous striker who could shoot by both legs and was always eager to pass the ball to her teammates if they had a better chance of scoring. Smith is the first female English soccer player to have an impact on the international level.

Smith did not have the proper support to lead her national team to any major tournament victories. However, she scored 46 goals for her national team in 127 games. Her club soccer career is filled with more success.

She spent most of her career playing for Arsenal. In club soccer, she won five premier league trophies, five FA cups, three FA Community Shields, and UEFA Champions League 2006–07. She scored more than a hundred goals in club football.

Kelly Smith put off her boots in 2015 after having a great career.

7. Sun Wen

Sun Wen
Full NameSun Wen
Date of BirthApril 6, 1973
Birth’s PlaceShanghai, China
National Team Debut1990
World CupN/A
Olympic Gold MedalN/A
Played in ClubsShanghai, Atlanta Beat, Shanghai SVA
Net Worth$5 Million

Sun Wen, the greatest Chinese women’s soccer player, was also voted the best player of the twentieth century, along with Michelle Akers. She was the star of the Chinese soccer team in its golden era of women’s soccer.

In the 1999 World Cup, she won both the golden boot and golden ball, though China could not win the world cup. She was fast in the field, a great shooter who could score both in quantity and in quality. Sadly, however, she could not win any major tournaments for China.

Wen played four world cups, appeared in 28 matches, and scored 16 goals, the second most in women’s world cup history. She played a total of 152 matches and found the net 102 times. Her 32-yard free-kick goal against the USA is one of the finest goals in the history of women’s Soccer.

Wen retired from Soccer in 2006; by then, she had established herself as one of the best women’s soccer players of all time despite not winning any major international trophies.

8. Homare Sawa

Homare Sawa
Full NameHomare Sawa
Date of Birth6 September 1978 
Birth’s PlaceFuchū, Tokyo, Japan
National Team Debut1993
World Cup2011
Olympic Silver Medal2012
Played in ClubsNTV Beleza, Atlanta Beat, Nippon TV Beleza, Washington Freedom, INAC Kobe Leonessa
Net Worth$1 Million – $5 Million

Homare Sawa had been the pillar of midfield for Japan for over two decades. She showed her excellent skills in the field from the very beginning of her career. Sawa defined the term team player. She assisted in many goal makings.

Sawa had her eye on the most prestigious trophy of Soccer. However, three times, Japan came short.

In 2011, at the age of 33, Sawa gave her best effort, and this time Japan became the World Champion by defeating the mighty USA in a thrilling shootout. USA was in the lead at 2-1, Sawa leveled the score with a late 117th-minute goal, and eventually, they won the trophy. Sawa also bagged both the golden boot and the golden ball with five goals and one assist.

Sawa retired from all kinds of Soccer in 2015, leaving behind a charming career where she played 2002 matches for Japan and scored 54 goals.

9. Christine Sinclair

Christine Sinclair
Full NameChristine Margaret Sinclair
Date of BirthJune 12, 1983
Birth’s PlaceBurnaby, British Columbia, Canada
National Team Debut2000
PositionForward, midfielder
World CupN/A
Olympic Gold MedalN/A
Canadian Player of the Year2000, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 2010, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 2018
Played in ClubsVancouver Whitecaps FC, FC Gold Pride, Western New York Flash, Portland Thorns
RetirementStill playing
Net Worth$2 Million

The Canadian soccer player Christine Sinclair is the all-time top goal scorer in women’s soccer history with 190 international goals and still counting.

Sinclair made her international debut at the age of 16 and since then has been the flag bearer for Canadian women’s soccer. Some of her best performances went unnoticed as her team could not win the games. She scored a hat trick against the USA in the 2012 Olympic semi-final. Despite Sinclair’s great performance, Canada lost by 3-4 goals.

Christine has dedicated her life to Soccer. She gives her best effort to stay fit and play for her country. She has played over 300 matches and has scored 190 goals wearing the Canadian jersey. 

10. Kristine Lilly

Kristine Lilly
Full NameKristine Marie Lilly Heavey
Date of BirthJuly 22, 1971
Birth’s PlaceNew York City, US 
National Team DebutAug. 3, 1987
PositionForward, midfielder
World Cup1991, 1999
Olympic Gold Medal1996, 2004
Played in ClubsTyreso and KIF Orebro, Boston Breakers
ResidenceNew York City
Net Worth$5 million

Kristine Lily was born in 1971 and made a great impression early in her career. She had her international debut only at the age of 16, in 1987. Lily had the longest soccer career of 24 years. In her international career of 24 years, she played 354 matches and scored 130 goals, and also assisted 106 goals.

Lily played in five world cups from 1991 to 2007. Every time the USA reached the semi-final and also won the world cup twice. She scored 8 goals in the world cup and 3 in the Olympics. Shwe had been the base of the US minefield for more than twenty years.

Lily’s long career finally came in 2011. By then, she was already a two-time world cup winner and had two gold medals for their team. With so many accomplishments, Lily is undoubtedly one of the best soccer players of all time.

11. Briana Scurry

Briana Scurry
Full NameBriana Collette Scurry
Date of BirthSeptember 7, 1971
Birth’s PlaceMinneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
National Team Debut1994
World Cup1999
Olympic Gold Medal1996, 2004
Played in ClubsAtlanta Beat, Washington Freedom
Net Worth$5 Million

The USA women’s team has been dominating women’s soccer since the beginning. They had players like Wambach, Akkers, and Hamm, who could find the nets of the opponents in almost every match. And there was Briana Scurry to guard the American net.

Scurry was part of the 1999 world cup winning team as well as two Olympic winning teams in 1996 and 2004. Scurry protected the American net like the great wall of China. She played 173 matches for the USA and had a clean sheet for 71 matches.

12. Hege Riise

Hege Riise
Full NameHege Riise
Date of Birth18 July 1969
Birth’s PlaceLørenskog, Norway
National Team Debut1990
World Cup1995
UEFA Women’s Championship1993
Olympic Gold Medal2000
Played in ClubsSetskog/Høland, Nikko Securities Dream Ladies, Setskog/Høland, Asker, Carolina Courage, Team Strømmen
Net Worth$1.5 Million

Hege Riise is the best female player to wear the Norwegian national jersey. During her reign, Norway reached its golden era. Norway won the FIFA world cup in 1995 when Riise scored 5 goals and bagged the golden ball of the tournament.

Riise also played a key role in the 2000 Olympics and led Norway to win the gold medals. Riise scored a total of 58 goals from her 188 international appearances for Norway. She retired from Soccer as a player in 2006.

She is now the manager of Norway’s national women’s team.

13. Joy Fawcett

Joy Fawcett
Full NameJoy Lynn Fawcett
Date of BirthFebruary 8, 1968
Birth’s PlaceInglewood, California, United States
National Team Debut1987
World Cup1991, 1999
Olympic Gold Medal1996, 2004
Played in ClubsAjax, San Diego Spirit
ResidenceInglewood, California, United States
Net Worth$14 million

You might have noticed that she is the only defender on this list. That alone says how good of a defender she was. Fawcett’s contribution to the USA women’s soccer has often been overshadowed by the attacking players. But she and  Carla Overbeck became the finest defensive players of the game.

She was an important part of two world cup victories and two Olympic victories. Fawcett was a powerhouse of energy and was never substituted in the four world cups that she played. She was also there to find the net when her team needed her to do so.

Fawcett played 241 international matches and scored 27 goals. By the end of her career in 2004, she registered her name as one of the best women’s soccer players of all time.

14. Hope Solo

Hope Solo
Full NameHope Amelia Stevens
Date of BirthJuly 30, 1981
Birth’s PlaceRichland, Washington, US 
National Team Debut1996
World Cup2015, 2019
Olympic Gold Medal2008, 2012
Played in ClubsLyon, Saint Louis Athletica, Atlanta Beat, Magic Jack. Seattle Sounders Women, Seattle Reign
ResidenceNorth Carolina
Net Worth$5 million

Hope Solo made her international debut for the USA women’s team in 1996 and immediately impressed everyone with impossible saves. However, as Briana Scurry was still the first choice at that time, she had to wait for her moment to come, and it did come in the 2008 Olympics.

Since then, there has been no turning back for the Washington star. She won two world cups and two Olympic gold medals. She appeared in 202 matches for the USA women’s team and had 71 shutouts.

15. Lily Parr

Lily Parr
Full NameLilian Parr
Date of Birth26 April 1905
Birth’s PlaceSt Helens, Lancashire, England
National Team DebutN/A
World CupN/A
Olympic Gold MedalN/A
Played in ClubsSt. Helens Ladies, 1920–1951
Date of Death22 May 1978 (73)

Lily Parr did not play any international matches, but this list would have been incomplete without her. She was the pioneer of women’s Soccer and gained popularity for the sport. She actively played for about three decades, and according to sources, she had scored more than nine hundred goals. Parr has been an inspiration for many women all over the world.

Final Words

In the last few decades, we have seen women soccer players who globalized and popularized the game and proved that they could play the game as well as men can. The contribution of the above 15 women will always be remembered in women’s soccer history.

These women gave their everything to the game and established themselves as the best women soccer players of all time. They have brought women’s Soccer to the prestigious position it is in today.

People Also Read:

Previous articleThe 5 Best High School Romance Anime on Netflix
Next articleThe 15 Best Baseball Players Of The 90s Who Defined The Game
Al Amin Sagor is simply a movie freak who is passionate about writing entertainment content. He loves to watch web series, and movies and write on celebrity gossip or trendy movie news. He also covers media and entertainment news on various online platforms. He is one of the "Jewel" of The News Titan.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here