The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup has come to an exciting and thrilling end with the defending Champions, USA retaining their title after beating Netherlands 2-0 at the Lyon Stadium, central-eastern France.
Here is to shine a light on these four incredible footballers who made a huge impact on the entire tournament of which three were tremendous in helping their teams get to the finals.
1. Megan Rapinoe (USA)
Striker and captain of the USA team, Megan Rapinoe is the winner of FIFA Women’s World Cup Golden Boot. Her goal via a penalty kick in the 61st minute helped her side beat the Netherlands 2-0.
With that goal, the 34-year-old Rapinoe finished the tournament with six goals and three assists. Rapinoe also won the Golden Ball, awarded to the tournament’s Best Player.
The baller led her team in tough wins against both Spain and host France before helping to win against Netherlands. Little wonder she was given a hero-like reception by the 57,900 crowd when she stepped up to receive her awards.
Since beginning her professional career in 2009, Rapinoe played on women’s national teams that won the World Cup in 2015 and again in 2019. She also has an Olympic gold medal in her trophy case.
Rapinoe scored her first goal of the tournament in the 13-0 thrashing of Thailand in USA’s Group F opener.
2. Alex Morgan (USA)
Like her team-mate Rapinoe, Alex Morgan also scored six goals and provided three assists in France, but Rapinoe took the award on minutes per goal (428 to 490).
Morgan who co-captained USA team won the tournament’s Silver boot.
Morgan plays professionally as a forward for Orlando Pride in the US National Women’s Soccer League.
Morgan opened her scoring for the tournament by splashing 5 goals in the 13-0 thrashing of Thailand in USA’s Group F opener.
3. Sari van Veenendaal (Netherlands)
Sari van Veenendaal is the winner of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Golden Glove which is handed to the best goalkeeper. She put up superb displays for the Netherlands side that finished runners-up in the tournament.
Sari kept clean sheets by conceiving no goals in the knockout stages against Sweden and Italy, as well as in the opening group-stage match against New Zealand.
The experienced stopper caught the eyes of many in the World Cup final on Sunday, making numerous saves in the first half to keep the United States at bay.
The 29-year-old is already leaving Arsenal after four years at the club to a yet to be confirmed club. With her series of impressive performances on the international stage, this summer will certainly put her on a good spot for an attractive contract.
4. Lucy Bronze (England)
England’s defender, Lucy Bronze finished runner-up to Rapinoe, earning the Silver Ball award of the tournament.
Bronze starred for England at right-back, playing every minute in all seven matches, as the Lionesses reached the semi-finals for the second consecutive World Cup, but she was pipped to the Golden Ball award by USA’s Megan Rapinoe, who was on the scorehseet as USA beat Netherlands 2-0 in Sunday’s final to retain their World Cup crown.
England lost the third place match to Sweden on 2-1.
Bronze wrote on Twitter that she is “humbled” to receive the award, even if it was not the one she wanted.
5. Jill Ellis (Coach, USA)
Jill Ellis is the head coach of the United States women’s team and is the development director of the United States Soccer Federation.
Although Jill is not a player in this tournament, shining a light on the woman that coached the USA team to win the 2019 World Cup is deserving. She deserves the accolades.