The Best 23 Young Players In The World

The Best 23 Young Players In The World

The year is ending and 2016 was a year of much activity in women’s football. Rio 2016 Olympic Games, FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, etc. So I decided to create a list with the 23 best footballers in the world under the age of 23. I hope you enjoy and comment!

Ada Hegerberg – 21 years old

Norway – Forward

Ada Hegerberg

Lyon and Norway’s Ada Hegerberg has won the UEFA Best Women’s Player in Europe Award for 2015/16. In January, she became the first woman in 20 years to win Norway’s Gold Ball award for the country’s best footballer. She won the 2015/16 UEFA Women’s Champions League and the 2015/16 Division 1 Féminine season with Olympique Lyonnais. She also finished the UEFA Women’s Champions League 2015/16 season as top scorer on 13 goals and Division 1 Féminine 2015/16 season on 33 goals. Lyon is the current best team in women’s football and Ada Hegerberg was the best player in the world this season.

Curiously, the best player of the year was left out of the 10 women shortlist for The Best FIFA Women’s Player 2016 award. That’s why no one takes FIFA’s Best Women’s Player award seriously.

Beatriz Zaneratto – 22 years old

Brazil – Forward

Although Beatriz or Bia owes a lot to South Korea for all her development, where she won for three-times the WK League title for Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels and has been playing their since 2013, I believe the country has become too small for her. The tall and strong player has learned to be fast and technical with the Asian players and has been standing out more and more in the Brazilian women’s team where she gains more and more space and scores more and more goals. I do not know if she will remain in the WK league but I believe she is prepared to play in any league in the world and I would love to see her compete in great teams in Europe or the United States.

Mallory Pugh – 18 years old

USA – Midfielder

To be a part of the USWNT roster is one of the most difficult things in the women’s game. This is because the country produce every year many great players. But this was not an hindrance to Mallory Pugh. Pugh is one of the youngest players to debut on the US senior team. She made her US WNT debut at age 17 and less than six months later, she became the second-youngest women’s Olympic women’s footballer in US history. Pugh also became the youngest player in US history to score in an Olympic Games and she is also the captain of U-20 WNT. What a curriculum, no?

Griedge M’Bock Bathy – 21 years old

France- Defender

The centre-back was named adidas Golden Ball at 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan and led France to the triumph at this tournament. She currently plays for Olympique Lyon and France senior women’s national team.

Vivianne Miedema – 20 years old

Netherlands – Forward

The number ten of FC Bayern Munchen is one of the most impressive forwards in women’s football, who has grown a lot in the Bavarian team. With the retirement of Manon Melis she has turned on in the leader of the Orange national team. Next year, the Euro 2017 championship will be hosted in the Netherlands and we are expecting to see a lot of this player there.

Delphine Cascarino – 19 years old

France – Midfielder

Delphine Cascarino

France ended the The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2016 tournament as runners-up largely thanks to the efforts of this Olympique Lyonnais’ midfielder. Cascarino scored one goal against Ghana and set up another against New Zealand, scored a stunning strike against defending champions Germany in the Quarter-finals. She also won the adidas Bronze Ball award in the tournament.

Kadeisha Buchanan – 22 years old

Canada – Defender

Buchanan is a member of the Canadian national team and was only 17 when she made her debut for the senior team. She is also a member of West Virginia University Women’s Soccer team. At the 2015 Women’s World Cup, Buchanan won the Young Player Award. She also won a bronze medal in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Asisat Oshoala – 22 years old

Nigeria – Forward

Asisat Oshoala won the Africa Women Cup of Nations’ Golden Boot this year as Nigeria beat Cameroon in the final. The Arsenal Ladies player also won the adidas Golden boot and adidas Golden ball at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

Kim So Hyang – 19 years old

Korea DPR – Forward

The striker led Korea DPR to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016 title, and was crowned adidas Silver Ball in the tournament. Actually, 2016 has been a year to remember for Korean football. The country won both youth tournaments in 2016, triumphing at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup this year!

Andressa Cavalari Machry – 21 years old

Brazil – Midfielder

Andressa or Andressinha (little Andressa) is a born leader. She was captain of the Brazilian youth national categories and has stood out so much in the senior WNT that she was hired by the Houston Dash in 2015. The midfielder has a good view of the game and her best quality are the mid-long distance shots. With the retirement of Formiga, the young player will have to assume an important role in the Brazilian WNT.

Stina Blackstenius – 20 years old

Sweden – Forward

Sweden forward Stina Blackstenius was crowned Bronze Boot at the 2016 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup, Silver Medal with Sweden Women’s National team in Rio 2016 Olympic Games, 2016 Damallsvenskan champion with Linköping FC and Damallsvenskan’s second top scorer, behind only team-mate Pernille Harder. What a year for her!

Hina Sugita – 19 years old

Japan – Midfielder

The Japanese midfielder has won the adidas Golden Ball twice in her career! First at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2014 and recently at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016. Keep an eye on her!

Tabitha Chawinga – 20 years old

Malawi – Forward

The Malawian footballer had an incredible performance in the Swedish Damallsvenskan season this year. She was nominated for two awards this season in Sweden: Best Forward and Most Valuable Player.
Chawinga scored 15 league goals in 22 matches, only behind Pernille Harder and Stina Blackstenius.

Sara Däbritz – 21 years old

Germany – Midfielder

The Bayern Munich player made the 10 women shortlist for The Best FIFA Women’s Player 2016 award and help to lead Bayern to their second consecutive Bundesliga championship as well as winning the Olympic gold medal in Rio with Germany.

Jessie Fleming – 18 years old

Canada – Midfielder

She is a member of the Canadian national team, having made her senior debut at age 15. Fleming won a bronze medal in Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Caroline Graham Hansen – 21 years old

Norway – Forward

At age of 21, Caroline Graham Hansen is one of the key players of Norway women’s national team and Vfl Wolfsburg. Unfortunately, she was unlucky in season 2015/16 , since she missed the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 and the 2015/16 UEFA Women’s Champions League final due to injury. I wish much healthy for Hansen this next season, so she can show all her potential.

Deyna Castellanos – 17 years old

Venezuela – Forward

The Venezuelan player is already a star. At the age of 12, she earned a spot on U-17 Venezuelan women’s soccer team. At the age of 14, Castellanos won the adidas Golden Boot – along with team-mate Gabriela Garcia – at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2014. This year, the Venezuelan scored the goal of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016 tournament, collecting the adidas Bronze Ball and adidas Bronze Boot, becoming the leading goalscorer in the history of the U-17 Women’s World Cup. Castellanos also led her country to the 2016 South American U-17 Women’s Football Championship, scoring more than 10 goals throughout the entirety of the tournament.

Ouleymata Sarr – 21 years old

France – Forward

Ouleymata Sarr is one of the best young french players. Tall and athletic, the striker has been standing out recently alongside players like Cristiane at PSG.

Caitlin Foord – 22 years old

Australia – Winger

The Matildas player Caitlin Foord was recently named Asian women’s player of the year. Foord became the youngest Australian woman to play at a World Cup in 2011, aged just 16 year-old. She currently plays for Sydney FC in the Australian W-League.

Gabi Nunes – 19 years old

Brazil – Forward

The nineteen-year-old won the adidas Silver Boot at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016. She also was the top scorer of 2015 Brazilian female football championship and was in the top five of topscorer players in the 2016 season. She made her debut in the Brazilian senior national team last Sunday, playing against Russia in the International tournament of Manaus, under Emily Lima lidearship.

Beth Mead – 21 years old

England – Forward

Beth Mead is an English footballer who plays as a forward for FA WSL club Sunderland Ladies and the England national team. In 2015, she was named Vauxhall England Young Player of the Year, FA WSL 1 Players’ Player of the Year and FA WSL 1 Top Goalscorer.

Claire Lavogez – 22 years old

France – Midfielder

Claire Lavogez

The midfielder plays for Olympique Lyonnais of the French Division 1 Féminine and France senior team. She won the adidas Bronze Ball at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. She is one of the most promising French players currently.

Caroline Weir – 21 years old

Scotland – Midfielder

Caroline Weir is a Scottish footballer who plays for Liverpool of the FA WSL and the Scotland women’s national team. She was named LFC Ladies Player of the Season this year and she scored 7 goals in 16 matches, only behind Aluko and Jane Ross in the FA WSL 1.

Thank you for reading, do you agree with this selection, is there anyone you would like to add?

  1. Asa 5 years ago

    Great work Izzy x

  2. Gina West 5 years ago

    Another brilliant article, thank you @Izzy!

    A well thought out list of outstanding players who are still so young, I look forward to following their careers as they progress further.

    Ada Hegerberg for me is not only one of the best young player’s in the game today, but should be crowned the 2016 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year or at least be among the nominees, I can not think of a reason why she was omitted.

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