2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team of the Tournament ft. Earps, Hemp, Endo, Bonmati, and Foord
The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup ended on a surprising note as Jorge Vilda’s Spanish side lifted the prestigious crown for the first time in history. As expected, the tournament had plenty of surprises, upsets as well as unforgettable moments.
From the heartbreaking elimination of the United States and Japan to the fairy tale run of England Lionesses, the fixtures kept the spectators glued to their seats. Consequently, in addition to stellar team performances, fans also got to witness a few indomitable individual displays by the players.
Hence, without further ado, let’s take a look at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup team of the tournament.
Goalkeeper: Mary Earps (England)
Despite prolific performances from the likes of Australia’s Mackenzie Arnold and Sweden’s Zecira Musovic, England Lionesses’ Mary Earps had a more memorable tournament. She kept three clean sheets across the competition and her best performances came in the knockout stages of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The English goalkeeper also helped the Lionesses win the penalty shootout against Nigeria in the Round of 16.
In addition to that, she also became the first goalkeeper to save a penalty in the FIFA Women’s World Cup final since 2007. Earps made a number of clinical saves in the final against Spain, especially against Aitana Bonmati and Salma Paralluelo. Despite disappointing results in the final, the Manchester United goalkeeper was awarded the Golden Glove for her great performance.
Defenders: Ona Batlle (Spain), Alex Greenwood (England), Amanda Ilestedt (Sweden), and Jun Endo (Japan)
Ona Batlle is the perfect textbook right-back, who can play in a compact as well as a wide formation. In addition to her on-field enthusiasm and prowess, she also has a wide variety of skills. Dominating on possession with astounding confidence, she also made decent key passes on both sides. In addition to that, she won the most tackles throughout the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and helped La Roja win the prestigious trophy for the first time.
Alex Greenwood showed versatility and helped England reach their first FIFA Women’s World Cup final. She was doing a great job as the defender and on the other side, she was also holding the ball and circulating the game. The 29-year-old made the most passes in the 2023 Women’s World Cup despite playing as a defender.
She also got injured in the final of the Women’s World Cup after she was hit by Spanish attacker, Salma Paralluelo’s knee in her face. However, Greenwood kept playing in the match despite suffering a gruesome injury in her eye.
Amanda Ilestedt had a campaign to remember as she was a leading figure for Sweden in attacking as well as defensive statistics. From headers to screamers, the central defender scored four goals and all of them came in crucial situations. Interestingly, she also scored in Sweden’s quarterfinal match against Japan and eliminated the team who took down Spain 4-0 in the group stage.
On the other side, she played her defensive duties properly as Sweden kept four clean sheets across the tournament. Moreover, Ilestedt also annoyed Australia’s Sam Kerr in the third-place game as Sweden defeated the home hope to get a podium finish.
Several left-backs such as Sweden’s Jonna Andersson and Australia’s Steph Catley gave exceptional performances throughout the tournament. However, Japan’s Jun Endo was slightly more commendable in the Women’s World Cup.
The Japanese left-back scored once and provided a couple of assists to help his nation reach the knockout stages. Moreover, she also fulfilled her defensive duties as Endo made the second highest clearances (6) for Japan, behind Aoba Fujito (9).
Midfielders: Aitana Bonmati (Spain), Georgia Stanway (England), and Teresa Abelleira (Spain)
Aitana Bonmati was the star of the Spanish line-up throughout the tournament. After winning the UEFA Women’s Champions League and Primera División with Barcelona Femení, Bonmati arrived in the 2023 Women’s World Cup in great form.
Carrying on the momentum, she scored three goals and provided the same number of assists for La Roja. Moreover, despite being heavily marked by the opposition in the final against England Lionesses, she managed to emerge as a prominent threat to the opposition. As the tournament ended, she was awarded the Golden Ball and Bonmati is also currently a frontrunner in the race for the 2023 Ballon d’Or Feminin.
Georgia Stanway was Sarina Wiegman’s key player, because of her ability to adjust in the different formations. Stanway was reliable and consistent in the midfield as Wiegman tried 4-3-3 and 3-5-2 systems throughout their campaign. The 24-year-old was filling the boots of a proper box-to-box midfielder as she was always present in the required position for the Lionesses.
Before the tournament, Teresa Abelleira was not a preferred starter for her club, Real Madrid, or her nation, Spain. However, when she played her first game in the Women’s World Cup, Abelleira proved that she was one of the best young prospects in women’s football.
The 23-year-old created a total of 26 chances in the campaign, which was the highest by any player in the recent edition of the Women’s World Cup. La Roja has always been known for their brilliant midfielder, hence, Teresa Abelleira is another name added to the list.
Forwards: Caitlin Foord (Australia), Lauren Hemp (England), and Hinata Miyazawa (Japan)
Outshining the likes of Chelsea star, Sam Kerr has always been a different task for her compatriots. However, Arsenal’s Caitlin Foord managed to do so with ease. She started her campaign for the Matildas as an attacking midfielder but she was later shifted to the left wing, where Foord flourished.
The 28-year-old had to make the change due to the absence of their skipper, Sam Kerr in the initial couple of matches. After leading the Australian attack in the group stage, she also played a major role in the Matildas’ 2-0 win over Denmark (R16) by breaking the deadlock in the 29th minute.
Lauren Hemp found a new rhyme in the 2023 Women’s World Cup under Sarina Wiegman as she played as a central forward. She plays as a left winger for the Women’s Super League side, Manchester City, and Hemp never got a chance to operate at any other position. However, playing in the England Lionesses’ 3-5-2 system, she scored three goals. Moreover, her Indomitable strike after winning a long ball against Australia in the 71st minute was her best goal of the tournament.
Japan started their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign in the best way possible as their star attacker, Hinata Miyazawa scored five goals in four initial matches for the Asian side. Miyazawa instantly topped the charts for the highest goalscorer as the Japanese side was looking confident enough to win the prestigious crown.
However, they were eliminated in the quarterfinals after they came up short against Sweden (2-1). Nevertheless, the 23-year-old had a remarkable campaign as she scored against the likes of eventual winners, Spain, and other sides such as Norway and Zambia.
Substitutes: Zecira Musovic (Sweden), Dominique Janssen (Netherlands), Steph Catley (Australia), Clare Hunt (Australia), Jennifer Hermoso (Spain), Leicy Santos (Columbia), Lauren James (England), Alexandra Popp (Germany), Alessia Russo (England)
Mary Earps won the Golden Glove in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, but Zecira Musovic‘s performance was nothing less than magical. Conceding only four goals (penalty shootout excluded) she helped Sweden defeat Japan and reach the semi-final of the tournament. The Netherlands’ campaign ended in the quarterfinals but Dominique Janssen was consistent throughout the competition. She made the second-highest clearances in the tournament (57), just three behind Spain’s Irene Paredes (60).
The Australian full-back duo of Steph Catley and Clare Hunt was a joy to watch. They had brilliant communication between them and in addition to that, Catley and Hunt’s ability to switch from offense to defense helped the Matildas to a large extent. Jennifer Hermoso stood strong in the midfield with the likes of Aitana Bonmati and Teresa Abelleira throughout the campaign for La Roja. She also created the second-highest chances in the tournament (16). Leicy Santos broke the deadlock against England in the quarterfinal but his side eventually failed to capitalize on the opportunity by losing 2-1.
Lauren James always delivered when it was required by the team. She provided three assists and also scored three goals for the Lionesses. Germany was shocked by the horror group stage exit as everything was falling apart for the European side. In all the mess, only Alexandra Popp looked reliable. Alessia Russo joined Lauren Hemp well in the attack as she also scored three goals for the Lionesses.