Alexia Putellas and the Top Women Soccer Players (2022)

By Ben Morris in Soccer
| June 30, 2022 12:57 pm PDT
Bet Female Soccer Players in 2022, Alexia Putellas, Vivianne Miedema, and Pernille Harder

The popularity of women’s soccer has soared over the past few years. Of course, the sport has always been popular in certain parts of the world. But it is now a global brand.

In April 2022, Barcelona’s Camp Nou smashed the attendance record for a women’s game. 91,648 fans crammed into the iconic stadium to watch some of the best female soccer players on the planet, highlighting the sport’s growth.

So, who are the top women soccer players right now?

Whether you like betting on women’s soccer via the best soccer sportsbooks or enjoy watching games in your spare time, I invite you to join me as I rank the top 10 female soccer players in 2022.

10. Wendie Renard

Wendie Renard
  • Age: 31
  • Country: France
  • Club: Lyon
  • Position: Defender

Over the years, Wendie Renard has made it onto countless lists of the best women soccer players. Although the 31-year-old is now in the latter stages of her career, she is still among the top female soccer players in the world.

The iconic defender made her professional debut for Lyon all the way back in 2006. Since then, she has amassed well over 400 appearances for the French club – winning tons of trophies along the way.

Between 2007 and 2020, Renard claimed 14 consecutive Division 1 Feminine titles with Lyon. She has also guided the team to eight UEFA Women’s Champions League crowns, securing six of the previous seven.

On top of that, Renard has been named in the FIFPro World XI on six occasions. That means she has two FIFPro World XI appearances, more than Marta, Alex Morgan, and Lucy Bronze.

The towering defender is the perfect center-back. Boasting an ideal blend of height, strength, pace, technique, and leadership, Renard is undoubtedly one of the best female soccer players on Earth.

9. Ada Hegerberg

Ada Hegerberg
  • Age: 26
  • Country: Norway
  • Club: Lyon
  • Position: Forward

When Ada Hegerberg suffered a nasty ACL injury in January 2020, it was unclear where she would ever reach the top level again. And when she fractured her tibia shortly after returning to training, she could have been forgiven for calling it a day.

However, the Norwegian superstar persevered and swiftly re-established herself as one of the top female soccer players in the game.

Following a 21-month absence from the sport due to injuries and the COVID-19 pandemic, Hegerberg returned to action in October 2021. A few months later, she scored as Lyon beat Barcelona 3-1 in the Champions League final.

Hegerberg also ended her five-year national team exile in March 2022, returning to the Norway squad after protesting against the Football Federation’s views on women’s soccer. Oh, and she netted a hat-trick in her comeback game!

The gifted forward won the 2016 UEFA Women’s Player of the Year Award before finishing as the runner-up in 2018 and 2019. If she remains injury-free, she will surely challenge for that award once again.

8. Jennifer Hermoso

Jennifer Hermoso
  • Age: 32
  • Country: Spain
  • Club: Pachuca
  • Position: Forward

Jennifer Hermoso scored a whopping 37 goals to fire Barcelona to a memorable treble in 2020-21. Barca clinched the Primera Division, Champions League, and Copa de la Reina titles that season, thanks mainly to Hermoso’s exploits.

Granted, the forward’s goal tally dropped to 16 during the 2021-22 campaign. But she is still among the best female soccer players right now.

Hermoso played a key role in Barcelona’s remarkable 2021-22 Primera Division title triumph. Alongside stars like Alexia Putellas and Caroline Graham Hansen (more on them later), she helped Barca win every single league game last season.

2021-22 PRIMERA DIVISION TABLE (TOP 3)
Team Wins Draws Losses GF GA GD Points
Barcelona 30 0 0 159 11 +148 90
Real Sociedad 21 3 6 67 38 +29 66
Real Madrid 19 3 8 41 31 +10 60

In addition to taking 90 points from a possible 90, the Catalans scored 148 goals while conceding just 11. That meant they finished the campaign with a ludicrous goal difference of +148!

Following the conclusion of the 2021-22 season, Hermoso joined Liga MX Femenil club Pachuca. Given what she achieved in Spain, she is arguably the best woman soccer player to ever operate in Mexico’s top tier.

7. Pernille Harder

Pernille Harder
  • Age: 29
  • Country: Denmark
  • Club: Chelsea
  • Position: Forward

It’s safe to say that Pernille Harder is no stranger to women’s soccer player rankings. The experienced Dane has been viewed as one of the top female soccer players for many years – and I can’t see that changing anytime soon.

In fact, there was a time when Harder was widely regarded as the best female soccer player on the planet. Between 2018 and 2020, she won two UEFA Women’s Player of the Year awards and finished as the Ballon d’Or runner-up.

Unfortunately, a knee injury prevented Harder from significantly impacting the 2021-22 season. But she rediscovered her best form toward the end of the campaign.

Harder reminded everyone of her ability with an outrageous solo goal against Manchester United in September 2021, running down the wing from the halfway line before chipping the ball over the goalkeeper’s head.

The 29-year-old achieved four successive Bundesliga-German Cup doubles with VfL Wolfsburg between 2017 and 2020. Since swapping Wolfsburg for Chelsea, she has already won two WSL titles, two FA Cups, and one League Cup!

6. Caroline Graham Hansen

Caroline Graham Hansen
  • Age: 27
  • Country: Norway
  • Club: Barcelona
  • Position: Midfielder

Barcelona has won nine possible 12 trophies since Caroline Graham Hansen arrived at the club in 2019. Just let that sink in for a second.

After making a name for herself in her homeland, the Norwegian midfielder enjoyed vast success with Wolfsburg between 2014 and 2019. Now, she is a vital cog in the Barca machine.

While Putellas and Hermoso grabbed the bulk of the goals in Barcelona’s phenomenal 2021-22 campaign, Hansen was the main provider. As well as setting up more goals than anyone else in the Primera Division, she racked up four assists in the Champions League.

Hansen’s ability to beat defenders and produce an inch-perfect cross is second to none. But she is capable of scoring spectacular goals, too. Who could forget her solo strike against Wolfsburg in the Champions League?

When it comes to ranking the best women soccer players, Hansen has to be included in the top ten. At 27, she has time to climb the rankings in the coming years.

5. Catarina Macario

Catarina Macario
  • Age: 22
  • Country: United States
  • Club: Lyon
  • Position: Midfielder

There is a sense that Catarina Macario can become the best female soccer player in the world.

In 1999, Macario was born in Brazil. In 2011, at the age of 12, she relocated to the United States with her father and brother. The rest, as they say, is history.

After lighting up the college soccer scene at Standford University, Macario was snapped up by French giant Lyon in 2021. She finished as Lyon’s top scorer in her first professional season, netting 23 goals in 35 games across all competitions.

Despite being born in Brazil, Macario represents the United States internationally. She has already bagged eight goals in 17 outings for the USWNT, helping the Stars and Stripes win the SheBelieves Cup.

If the early stages of her career are anything to go by, the up-and-coming starlet could break tons of records in the future. So, be sure to keep an eye on the top US betting sites for some Macario-related props.

4. Marie-Antoinette Katoto

Marie-Antoinette Katoto
  • Age: 23
  • Country: France
  • Club: Paris Saint-Germain
  • Position: Forward

In February 2022, at the age of just 23, Marie-Antoinette Katoto became Paris Saint-Germain’s all-time leading goalscorer. Yep, that’s right – she is still only 23!

Katoto surpassed Marie-Laure Delie with 132 goals in 148 games, cementing her status among the best women footballers of her generation. With most of her career ahead of her, Katoto will surely break more records in the coming years.

Believe it or not, the sharp-shooter was omitted from France’s squad for the previous FIFA Women’s World Cup. However, she returned to the national team soon after – taking her tally to 24 goals in 29 appearances for Les Blues.

Katoto possesses all the right attributes to become one of the greatest-ever forwards in women’s soccer. Not only is she quick and strong, but she is also adept at timing her runs and finding the corners of the net.

The PSG striker is already one of the best female soccer players at this moment in time. If she carries on the way she’s going, she could grow into the best women’s soccer player in history.

3. Vivianne Miedema

Vivianne Miedema
  • Age: 25
  • Country: Netherlands
  • Club: Arsenal
  • Position: Forward

What can I say about Vivianne Miedema that hasn’t already been said?

At 25, the supreme goal-getter is already the all-time leading scorer for the Netherlands. She has bagged a stupendous 92 goals in 110 international outings and averages 0.85 goals per game for her country.

Remarkably, she boasts exactly the same average in the Women’s Super League (WSL). Since moving from Bayern Munich to Arsenal in 2017, Miedema has netted 74 goals in 89 WSL matches – becoming the league’s record scorer in the process.

WOMEN’S SUPER LEAGUE – ALL-TIME TOP GOALSCORERS
Player Goals Games Goals Per Game Ratio
Vivianne Miedema 74 89 0.85
Ellen White 61 142 0.44
Bethany England 55 127 0.44
Fran Kirby 54 85 0.64
Beth Mead 52 128 0.39

After winning the 2017 UEFA Women’s Euro with the Netherlands, Miedema fired the Dutch to the final of the 2019 World Cup. She was also among the best female soccer players at the Tokyo Olympics.

Despite various rumors surrounding her future at Arsenal, the forward extended her contract with the Gunners in May 2022. That deal made her the highest-paid player in the WSL, so she has to be viewed as one of the best women soccer players today.

2. Sam Kerr

Sam Kerr
  • Age: 28
  • Country: Australia
  • Club: Chelsea
  • Position: Forward

When I first thought about putting together my 2022 women soccer player rankings, Sam Kerr instantly sprung to mind as a potential #1 candidate.

If it weren’t for the achievements of an exceptional individual during the 2021-22 season, Kerr would be right at the very top of my list. But at the end of the day, she finds herself in second place.

After tearing up the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) with the Chicago Red Stars, the Australian striker joined Chelsea in 2020. Since then, she has sealed her standing among the top female soccer players in the world.

Kerr scored 20 goals – 14 more than Miedema – to clinch back-to-back WSL Golden Boots in 2022, helping Chelsea win a third straight top-flight title. She also secured heaps of individual awards, including WSL Player of the Season and PFA Players’ Player of the Year.

Kerr’s ability to score any type of goal makes her one of the best women’s soccer players in the game. The Aussie is capable of hitting the target from all angles and is destined to humiliate goalkeepers for many years to come.

1. Alexia Putellas

Alexia Putellas
  • Age: 28
  • Country: Spain
  • Club: Barcelona
  • Position: Midfielder

Few would argue that Alexia Putellas is not the top female soccer player in the world right now.

In 2021, the Barcelona superstar became the first player ever to win the Ballon d’Or Feminin, The Best FIFA Women’s Player, and UEFA Women’s Player of the Year Award in the same year.

You only need to take a glance at the 2021 Ballon d’Or standings to understand just how good Putellas is. She totally dominated the award, receiving more than twice as many votes as her nearest challenger.

2021 BALLON D’OR FEMININ STANDINGS (TOP 3)
Player Club Points
Alexia Putellas Barcelona 186
Jennifer Hermoso Barcelona 84
Sam Kerr Chelsea 46

Needless to say, Putellas deserves all the accolades that come her way. The attacking midfielder is the standout player in Barcelona’s unstoppable team – and there is no shortage of world-class players on that side!

The 28-year-old bagged 33 goals involvements in the 2021-22 Primera Division season, notching 17 goals and 16 assists. On top of that, she claimed the Champions League Golden Boot after scoring 11 goals in as many games.

Need I say more?

More Top Female Soccer Players

With so many top women soccer players gracing the game at the moment, it almost doesn’t seem fair to restrict my list to just ten names. So, it’s only fitting to provide some honorable mentions before signing off.

Here are ten more of the best female soccer players in 2022.

  • Aitana Bonmati (Barcelona and Spain)
  • Christiane Endler (Lyon and Chile)
  • Magdalena Eriksson (Chelsea and Sweden)
  • Fran Kirby (Chelsea and England)
  • Lieke Martens (Paris Saint-Germain and Netherlands)
  • Lauren Hemp (Manchester City and England)
  • Mapi Leon (Barcelona and Spain)
  • Rose Lavelle (OL Reign and the United States)
  • Irene Paredes (Barcelona and Spain)
  • Lucy Bronze (Barcelona and England)

That concludes my take on the best women soccer players right now. If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out our soccer blog. We cover all the major international tournaments, top European leagues, MLS, transfers, and a whole load more.

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