How the Guardian ranked the 100 best female footballers in the world 2022 | Women’s football

It is time for our fifth edition of the 100 best female footballers in the world and here are the judges who took part in this year’s jury.

Some of the most respected and influential women and men within the game, including the USA head coach, Vlatko Andonovski, the Arsenal manager, Jonas Eidevall, and Canada’s Olympic-winning head coach, Bev Priestman.

We are also privileged to have had the US soccer writer Grant Wahl, who tragically died while covering the men’s World Cup in Qatar this month, on the panel. Wahl was a tremendous journalist who did so much to promote women’s football despite his busy schedule and his impact on journalism and the women’s game will never be forgotten.

He is part of our biggest jury yet with many new faces, taking the number of judges to 119, including the Brazil legend Sissi, Germany’s World Cup-winning defender Babett Peter, the Barcelona head coach, Jonathan Giráldez, and the Italy legend Patrizia Panico , now manager at Fiorentina, among many others.

Their votes have been counted to see whether Alexia Putellas can become the first player to defend her crown or whether we will have a new Guardian best female footballer in the world.

The countdown begins on Wednesday 21 December with Nos 100-71. On Thursday we will reveal Nos 70-41, on Friday Nos 40-11 before the top 10 on Saturday to complete this year’s list.

The judges are listed in alphabetical order by category.

Last year’s winner, Alexia Putellas. Photograph: Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images


Janni Arnth Former Denmark international with 93 caps; won four major domestic league titles across 3 countries

Regina Baresi Former Italian striker who scored 108 goals in 208 matches for Inter Milan

Marta Carissimi Former Italian international with 18 caps; won Series A titles in 2015 and 2017

Arianna Criscione Former Italian international with three caps; won three consecutive Serie A titles with Torres

Theresa Eslund Former Denmark international with 133 caps; won five Danish league titles and played in the Euro 2017 final

Grace Gill Former Australian international with one cap; won two A-League titles with Canberra United

Guðbjörg Gunnarsdottir Former Iceland international with 64 caps; won six domestic league titles across Iceland and Norway

Tuija Hyyrynen Former Finland international with 115 caps; won five consecutive Serie A league titles with Juventus

Maya Jackman Former New Zealand international with 50 caps; played for her country at the 2007 World Cup

Haley Kopmeyer Former NWSL goalkeeper; won two consecutive NWSL Shields with Seattle Reign in 2014 and 2015

Gina Lewandowski Former USA international with one cap; won the Champions League in 2008 and two Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich

Ella Masar Former USA international with one cap; won the Bundesliga title with Wolfsburg in 2019 and two Swedish Cups with FC Rosengård

Doreen Nabwire Former Kenya international who played professionally in the Netherlands and Germany; won the Kenyan Premier League in 2012

Babett Peter Former German international with 118 caps; won a World Cup, European Championship, a Champions League and eight Bundesliga titles

Babett Peter in action for Real Madrid
Babett Peter is among the players on this year’s panel. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Corine Petit Former France international with 89 caps; won 10 consecutive league titles with Lyon and five Champions League titles

Nicole Rolser Former Germany international with two caps; won two consecutive WSL titles with Liverpool, in 2013 and 2014, and a Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich.

Jenny Ruiz-Williams Former Mexico international with 36 caps; represented Seattle Reign in the NWSL

Desiree Schumann Former German goalkeeper; won the 2010 U20 World Cup with her country, three Bundesliga titles and two Champions League titles

Sissi Former Brazil international with 47 caps and 33 goals; won the Golden Boot at the 1999 World Cup

Leonine Stentler Former Netherlands international with 16 caps; won the Eredivisie title with ADO Den Haag in 2012


Fabrice April Fleury91 manager

Juan Carlos Amoros NJ/NY Gotham manager

Vlatko Andonovsky USA head coach

Natalia Arroyo Real Sociedad manager

Colin Bell South Korea head coach

Leah Blayney Australia youth team head coach

Shilene Booysen South Sudan head coach

Mariana Cabral Sporting Lisbon manager

Freya Coombe Angel City FC manager

Lluis Cortés Ukraine head coach

Laura Del Rio Spain U23 head coach

Nicola Demaine Former Papua New Guinea head coach

Jonas Eidevall Arsenal manager

Irene Fuhrmann Austria head coach

Peter Gerhardson Sweden head coach

Jonathan Giraldez Barcelona manager

Ann-Helen Grahm Tigres UANL assistant manager

Richard Gunney Former San Diego Wave assistant manager

Ásmundur Haraldsson Iceland assistant head coach

Takayoshi Ishihara Former INAC Kobe manager

Per Inge Jacobsen Stabek manager

Andre Jeglertz Linköping manager

Kim Kulig Wolfsburg assistant manager

Jose Letelier Chile head coach

Pedro Lopez Mexico head coach

Milagros Martinez Juarez manager

Martin Masaryk Sparta Prague manager

Theresa Merk SC Freiburg manager

Amandine Miquel Stade de Reims manager

Joe Montemurro Juventus manager

Joe Montemurro of Juventus looks on prior to kick off in the UEFA Women's Champions League group C match between Juventus and FC Zürich
The Juventus manager, Joe Montemurro Photograph: Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Patrizia Panico Fiorentina manager

Nina Patalon Poland head coach

Kristine Pedersen Denmark youth team head coach

Bev Priestman Canada head coach

Maria Pry Madrid CF manager

Rick De Roij PSV manager

Cedric Roger Vietnam assistant head coach

Matt Ross South Korea assistant head coach

Angela Salem Washington Spirit assistant manager

Chris Sargeant FC Nordsjælland manager

Anna Signeul Finland head coach

Finland's head coach, Anna Signeul, during the Women's Euros match against Germany.
Finland’s head coach, Anna Signeul, during the Women’s Euros match against Germany. Photograph: Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Tateele Silveira Former Santos, Gremio and Brazil youth team head coach

Renée Slegers FC Rosengård manager

Kat Smith Western Sydney Wanderers manager

Lars Sondegaard Denmark head coach

Brian Sorensen everton manager

Alessandro Spugna AS Roma manager

Alan Stajcic Philippines head coach

Alexander Strauss Bayern Munich manager

Lene Terp Faroe Islands manager

Randy Waldrum Nigeria head coach

Jens Wedeborg IFK Kalmar manager

Chan Yuen Ting Jiangsu manager

Robert Villahamn Häcken manager

Beverly Yanez Racing Louisville assistant manager

Abdullah Abdullah Freelance women’s football writer and analyst in the UAE; published two women’s football books

Samuel Ahmadu Freelance women’s football writer in Nigeria

Om Arvind Freelance women’s football writer and analyst in Spain

David Astill Women’s football writer and analyst at Total Analysis in England

Romain Balland Women’s football writer and broadcaster in France

Annika Becker Freelance women’s football writer in Germany

Alex Bishop Freelance women’s football writer in Japan

Liana Buratti Digital content lead at Football Australia and former women’s football writer

Isobel Coates Women’s football writer for OPTUS Sport in Australia

Javiera Court Arrau Women’s football writer in Chile

Syanie Dalmat Women’s football writer for L’Equipe in France

Seraina Degen Women’s football writer and broadcaster for SRF Sport in Switzerland

Eileen Doeker Women’s football writer for Sky Sports Deutschland in Germany

Cheryl Downes Co-founder and editor of Beyond 90 in Australia

Mia Eriksson Women’s football writer in Sweden for TV4; co-host of Their Pitch

Alex Ibaceta Women’s football reporter for DAZN Europe

Harjeet Johal Freelance women’s football writer in Canada

Meaghan Johnson Women’s football writer and producer for TSN in Canada

Rachael Kriger Freelance women’s football writer in the USA

Rich Laverty Freelance women’s football writer in England; Top 100 founder

Sophie Lawson Women’s football writer for ESPN in England

Gianluca Lia Women’s football writer for Malta Times in Malta

Amber van Lieshout Women’s football writer for Vrouwen Voetbal Nieuws in the Netherlands

David Menayo Women’s football writer for Marca in Spain

Sofie Munch Women’s football writer and broadcaster for TV 2 Sport in Denmark

Blair Newman Women’s football writer and analyst in the USA

Antonio Loma Osorio Women’s football writer in Chile

Christina Paulos Women’s football reporter for TV 2 Sport in Norway

Annemarie Postma Freelance women’s football writer in the Netherlands

Sandra Prusina Women’s football broadcaster and reporter in Canada

Amee Ruszkai Women’s football writer for in England

Romina Sacher Women’s football writer and reporter in Argentina

Alicia Soares Women’s football writer in Brazil

Megan Swank Freelance women’s football writer in the USA

Maria Tikas Women’s football writer for Diario Sport in Spain

Joanna Tokarska Women’s football writer and reporter in Poland

Hanna Urbaniak Women’s football writer in Poland

Rivkah op het veld Women’s football reporter for NOS Sport in the Netherlands

Amanda Viana Women’s football reporter in Brazil

Grant Wahl Freelance women’s football writer in the USA

Julia Wanjeri Freelance women’s football writer in Africa; Founder of JWSports

Suzy Crack Women’s football writer for The Guardian in England

Ayishatu Zakaria Ali Women’s football writer ad reporter in Ghana

Amanda Zaza Women’s football reporter for TV4/Fotbollskanalen in Sweden; co-host of Their Pitch

How they made their choices

Our judges were sent a long list of footballers drawn from leagues on every continent and asked one question: who have been the best female players in the world in 2021?

We asked our judges to choose 40 names each, and rank their selection in order from 1-40, No 1 being their choice of the best player this year.

How the voting works

The No 1 choice of each judge was awarded 40pts, No 2 given 39pts, down to 1pt for their No 40 choice. All the votes were added together to give a raw score.

To minimize the influence of outliers, the highest score awarded to a player was then deducted to give a final score.

A player needs to receive votes from at least five judges to qualify.

If players are level on points in the scoring, the number of individual votes cast is used as a tie-breaker.

Voting disclosure

We are very grateful to our judges for taking part, and none have been paid for participating.

To allow our judges the freedom to express their opinions without fear or favour, individual voting records are anonymised.

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