It is a tough ask to whittle down so many talented players and select the best women’s football XI in the world, but earlier this week, the best men’s and women’s players were crowned at the Fifa Best awards ceremony in London.
Awards ceremonies always generate debate… So I have decided to weigh in by putting together my own global women’s football dream team.
For my world XI, I have gone with a 4-2-3-1 formation and based my selection off the respective players’ performances for club and/or country over the last year.
Club: Manchester United
Earps was one of the top goalkeepers at the World Cup as England reached the final, where they were beaten by Spain.
She made some big saves in games where England had not dominated, and at club level she has been very consistent for Manchester United, having played every minute in each FA WSL game for the last four seasons.
It is important to show you are not too old to still get better and Earps, 30, is at a level now many onlookers may not have expected her to reach even just a few years ago.
Club: Real Madrid
I thought Carmona had a very good World Cup. She scored the only goal in the final as Spain lifted the trophy for the very first time.
She plays at Real Madrid and last season I would say it was the first time they really put themselves on the map domestically.
I watched them play in the Champions League and Carmona was certainly one of their best players.
Club: Manchester City
One of the best ball-playing centre-backs, Greenwood is so calm, composed and so difficult to play against. She is a very mature player and very reliable.
She is very good on the ball and has a brilliant left foot.
She contributed a lot through set-pieces and her contributions in the final third from such plays were very important to both England and City.
There are not many left-footed centre-backs who are as good in possession as Greenwood.
Bright is captain for Chelsea and took the armband during England’s run to the World Cup final in Leah Williamson’s absence, so it has hard to look past her.
She was a key performer in the success of her club and country.
Bright brings organisation and a real physical presence, which is a nice balance with somebody like Greenwood alongside her.
Although she’s now plying her trade with Barcelona, I thought Batlle was Manchester United’s best player last season before she moved to her native Spain.
She reads the game so well and sees it in a certain way which is what makes her such an enjoyable player to watch.
You very rarely see her give the ball away and it is very difficult to get the ball off her.
When she was at Manchester United, they needed players to stand out and perform at a high level to take them where they wanted to go – and Batlle certainly did that.
This is a player whose selection in any best XI does not generate any debate. Bonmati, for me, is currently the best player in the world.
The reigning Ballon d’Or winner‘s vision and the intensity with which she carries the ball is higher than most. She also always picks out passes at the right moment and is so comfortable under pressure.
Bonmati has come through the ranks at Barcelona and you can see a lot of similarities with the players they have produced over the years – think Xavi or Iniesta.
Most people simply can’t do the things Bonmati can do in the middle of the park.
Club: Real Madrid
Weir opted to play abroad for the first time last season and what a first impression she made in Spain with Real Madrid.
She was named the player of the year in the Spanish league, which just shows how well she performed, because there are some really top players over there.
I have seen Caroline’s ability first-hand during our time away with Scotland. There are not many players you play with in your career that have the same kind of talents she does. It could leave you in awe watching the things she does unfold – even in training.
Position: Left winger
Club: Manchester City
Hemp is one of the most dangerous wingers.
She is a bit more of a traditional winger, but has often shown her versatility as a forward.
Manchester City maybe didn’t have the best season overall, but when you look at the 2023 portion of it, they were unbelievable, and Hemp was a huge part of that.
Caroline Graham Hansen
Position: Right winger
I picked Graham Hansen less on what she did at international level, but more on what she brings to Barcelona.
She played the most minutes at Barcelona, who are the best team in Europe – and I would argue the world – and contributed a lot of big goals and has produced consistent performances.
I watched a lot of the World Cup and I felt Hermoso was a stand-out in every game I saw her play.
I’ve watched her play more as a nine, but in the number 10 role she shows how much she understands the game. Her combination play and her goal threat played an important part in Spain’s success.
She is a senior player and carried a lot of responsibility at the World Cup, but it was last year’s tournament where I reckon she put in some of her best-ever performances.
Kerr is a massive player for Chelsea and for Australia. She is a great number nine and is so difficult to play against.
A big-time player if you ever saw one, routinely scoring in cup finals and helping her side secure silverware, she loves the big occasions and thrives off it – which is what makes her such a great athlete.