The FIFA Women’s World Cup heads Down Under for the 2023 edition with Australia and New Zealand jointly hosting the tournament from July 20th onwards.
England and Ireland have safely qualified for the pinnacle of the women’s game, but it’s the former and reigning European champions who have the more realistic hopes of going the distance.
So, with under a month to go until the off, we’ve taken a look at some of the big names who are going to be stealing the show and those who could well be superstars come the conclusion.
This is the dream for Chelsea and Australia star Sam Kerr, a home World Cup while in her absolute prime. Now 29, she’ll surely not get a better chance to lift the World Cup and is fresh off another blistering club season with 29 goals in 38 games for the Blues.
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Sophia Smith could be the breakout star of the 2023 World Cup. The US forward had fantastic 2022 and, aged just 22, she can take this tournament by storm with the USWMN looking to the next generation of stars to lead them into the future. She scored 11 goals in 17 games for her country in 2022 and netted 18 goals in 25 games for Portland Thorns as well.
The great Ada Hegerberg heads to Australia and New Zealand with a point to prove. She’s already a global star but has played just 21 club games in the last three seasons due injury. Now back in the Norway fold after resolving a long-running dispute with their FA last year, she’ll be looking to make up for lost time in a big way.
Lauren Hemp is another rising star, if we can call a 22-year-old with an already overflowing trophy cabinet that. A key part of the Lionesses home Euros win in 2022, she put in the corner for Chloe Kelly’s winning goal in the final and was a constant, probing threat on the wing. Now being tried up front on occasion by Sarina Wiegman, she’s a danger from all angles to opposition defences. The PFA Women’s Young Player Of The Year in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2022, it’s time for her to take the next step to global stardom.
Love her or hate her, you can simply never ignore the trail-blazing USWNT star Megan Rapinoe. Now 37, this is surely her last shot at a World Cup and makes a bit of a shock return to the international fold after being left out of the 2022 SheBelieves Cup. You can never write her off and she lives for the big occasions. Whatever happens, you can bet this World Cup will not pass by without Rapinoe making headlines on or off the pitch.
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