Right now there are more professional female footballers than ever before. Although the sport has struggled against discrimination, a lack of funding, and a dearth of media support since its inception, women’s football leagues around the world are growing in size, strength, and popularity.
Below are some of the best players in women’s football who are currently redefining the game, and the league.
Danish footballer Pernille Harder plays as a forward for the national Danish team and for English FA Women’s Super League club Chelsea. Harder is the first player to win the top 100 list twice – she was ranked first in 2018 and returned to the top of the charts for 2020. Harder was named the UEFA Player of the Year, scored five goals for the Danish national team and had already scored twice for Chelsea by the start of December 2020. She has also created more chances than any other player in 2020, which makes her widely considered the best female player in the world, and a great well-rounded player.
Vivianne Miedema is a Dutch forward who plays for both the Dutch national team and for Arsenal. She still has plenty of her career ahead, but at only 24 years old, Miedema has already made a name for herself through her exceptional assists and the fact that she scored ten goals in just the first seven league games of 2020. She is also noted for her exceptional awareness on the field and intuition or “sixth sense” during a game.
English footballer Lucy Bronze divides her time between playing for the English national team and Manchester City. Bronze was ranked as the second best player in the world for 2019, but for 2020 she dropped down to third amid the heavy competition. In 2020 she secured a third Champion’s League title with Lyon before returning to England to play with Manchester City.
Although she isn’t hitting the remarkably high goals that brought her to second place in 2019, she is nonetheless a skilful defender who has adapted quickly to the Manchester City style of play, and who was named the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year for 2020.
Wendie Renard is another defender who plays for the French national team and for Lyon. Wendie won her 14th league title and her 5th Champions in 2020 and has continued to serve as a strong defender and stabilising force for Lyon.
Although she has taken some time off the field this year, Megan Rapinoe remains one of the brightest stars of female football in the collective conscious. Rapinoe is the only football player – male or female – to have scored directly from the corner of the field at the Olympic World Games, she has won a host of various awards including the ESPY Best Play of the Year Award, and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Golden Boot and Golden Ball awards.
Along with her athletic feats, Rapinoe is an activist for equality, women’s rights, and LGBTQ+ acceptance. She joined Colin Kaepernick in his kneeling protest, she spoke out against the fact that women’s leagues had to play on inferior AstroTurf rather than grass, she joined a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission fighting for equal pay and she also refused a meeting with Donald Trump. Even though she is currently on the field, Rapinoe is certainly working hard and continuing her activism.
Female football and online betting
As you might expect, betting on women’s football games is nearly identical to betting on men’s football games. However, one of the key differences is the relative lack of statistics for women’s football, as compared to men’s football. The female football leagues are still relatively new and have not benefitted from the same level of financial sponsorship or state funding that male leagues have had for decades.
As a result, the leagues are still growing and developing and there is a lack of deep, comprehensive data for each team, player, and coach. Online sports portals such as IrishLuck.ie however will be able to provide you with information regarding the odds available and the teams.
Anyone who is interested in betting on female football games should also be aware that, in group competitions like the World Cup and European Tournament, some nations have invested more heavily in their women’s football leagues than others. Countries like the USA, England, and Brazil have invested in their women’s football leagues and have extremely strong teams, while other regions have not supported their female footballers. When you are making bets, you should take this into account and do your research beforehand.