There goes a saying: “Whatever a man does, a woman does better.” Well, in the world of sports, women have had their parts to play as supporters, players, off-field contributors, and, as will be considered, influencers. By means of their conduct and qualities, they have proven to be sources of motivation for many. The top 20 most influential women in Association football will be considered in this article. These women have had a significant impact on the development and progress of the sport.
The Most Influential Women In Soccer
20. Sam Kerr
Sam Kerr is an Australian footballer who made a name for herself by scoring the 1st ever hat-trick between both male and female Australian counterparts in the World Cup tournament. She scored all four goals in a 4-1 victory over Jamaica in the round-of-16 stage of the FIFA World Cup.
In 2019, the English side, Chelsea, acquired her from Chicago Red Stars in the U.S, and she won with them the English Women Super League in 2020. Kerr was also listed among the 100 greatest women footballers in the world by the Offside Rule.
19. Nadia Nadim
The Afghanistan-born Danish player is a good motivation considering her traumatic background. Her father was murdered in 1998, causing the family to relocate to Denmark, where she was introduced to football. She stuck to her career and now plays for the PSG women team since 2019.
She was delegated as the UNESCO Champion for Girls’ and Women’s Education back in 2019. Nadim is an exemplary sports figure and is certainly worthy to be named among the influential women in soccer.
18. Alex Morgan
The American 2019 FIFA World Cup joint highest goal scorer plays for Orlando Pride FC and the United States national team. Morgan is known as a powerful and swift forward and very clinical in front of goal.
In the 2016/2017 season, she featured for the French side, Olympique Lyon, and won the Division 1 Féminine, the Women French Cup, and the Women’s Champions League titles. These feats make Morgan much loved by fans, and she has become a significant influence in the sport.
17. Lieke Martens
When inconvenient circumstances are experienced, Lieke Martens’ story to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup could be a motivation.
The Dutch featured for the Netherlands national team with a toe injury in the group stages but contributed largely to the team’s journey to the final. She currently features for FC Barcelona women’s team, and her consistency, as well as enduring qualities, have made her an immense significance in football.
16. Jill Ellis
Ellis was born in England but raised in the United States, which she represented as a coach in two FIFA World Cups in 5 years of service. She is the second female manager to win two consecutive World Cups. She is currently an executive in the United States Soccer Federation, all contributing to her importance in football.
15. Marta Vieira
The Brazilian is considered the greatest female footballer in history as she nears the end of her illustrious career. For almost every aspiring woman footballer, Martha is a role-model.
The 6-time World’s best women footballer of the year, by her motivational speeches, has been inspiring women footballers in her home country and is undoubtedly one of the greatest influencers of football.
14. Stephanie Frappart
Frappart had made a name in the officiating of female football matches before breaking the record of officiating an European major men’s match in the 2019 super cup between Chelsea and Liverpool. The French referee also officiated the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup final between the United States and the Netherlands. Her pedigree has contributed massively to her influence in football.
13. Sarai Bareman
Another name to consider in a list of the most influential women in soccer is Sarai Bareman. Sarai was popular in New Zealand and Australia during her playing years. She played for the Samoan women’s national team and now features as the FIFA’s Chief Women’s Football Officer.
12. Karen Brady
The English businesswoman and politician is also the vice-chairwoman of West Ham’s women’s football team.
11. Jacqui Oatley
Oatley broke the deadlock of being the 1st ever woman commentator of a televised football match in 2007. She has also been an appointee by FIFA to work in a World Cup and by CAF in an African Cup of Nations tournament.
10. Isha Johansen
The Sierra Leonean woman is the only woman in football to head an association. She had once founded a football team that provided sporting opportunities to displaced kids. Her massive contribution to humanity through football shortlists her amongst the most influential women in the game.
9. Fatma Samoura
Samoura is the current Secretary-General of FIFA and the 1st person from Senegal to occupy that post. As she implements FIFA’s decisions, her influence in football has increased.
8. Chan Yuen Ting
The Hong Kong manager managed a men’s team in the Asian top flight in 2016, becoming the 1st ever woman to do so. She won the Hong Kong championship and has etched her name among the most significant people in football.
7. Bibiana Steinhaus
Since she was 15, she started officiating football matches, amongst which was the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup final and the 2017 UEFA Women’s Champions League in 2017.
6. Alex Scott
The ex-English player now features as a match pundit since her retirement in 2018. Recently, Scott gave a speech about female sexual assaults and has motivated a lot in both players and fans.
5. Florence Hardouin
She was an integral part of the French team in the late 80s and early 90s and has been well respected in sports ever since. The French legend’s opinions on football matters are always widely considered.
4. Ada Hegerberg
The Norwegian women’s Balon d’Or and BBC Women’s Footballer of the year winner is a highly decorated footballer who has done well to win the heart of fans around the world. By so doing, her significance is football has been upped.
3. Susan Whelan
When Leicester City became won the Premier League title in 2016, many would have praised the players. This success journey is also credited to Whelan, who played a huge role behind the scenes. Susan Whelan is one of the most influential women in football today.
2. Megan Rapinoe
Rapinoe is known for her productive play on the pitch but has more to offer than that. She is a strong advocate of gender and social equality. Rapinoe currently captains and plays as a winger for the OL Reign of the National Women’s Soccer League.
1. Marina Granovskaia
The Russian-Canadian woman is perceived to be the greatest and most influential woman in football.
Marina is responsible for most of the lucrative transfers in and out of the Chelsea football club and chief support to her boss, Roman Abramovich, whose purchase brought the club their success through the last couple of decades.
There’s no denying that women have had a significant influence on the development of Association Football. Feel free to share your thoughts about these influential women in soccer in the comment section below.