FIFPro today is proud to unveil the first Women’s World XI. The player-driven award, which is selected by female footballers worldwide, includes four members from the World Cup-winning US national team.
“It’s an honor to be selected by the players,” said World Player of the Year, Carli Lloyd. “This is a great step forward in terms of equality, respect and recognition for women’s football."
“I’d like to thank FIFPro for making this possible. It’s an initiative that will be appreciated by female players all over the world.”
All four US stars: Lloyd, Hope Solo, Meghan Klingenberg and Julie Johnston are based at home in the NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League). With the addition of Kedeisha Buchanan, North America has five players on the world’s best team.
Twenty-year-old Canadian international defender Buchanan is the youngest player in the team. A student at the University of West Virginia, she made quite an impression at last year’s World Cup where she was voted Best Young Player.
The French top-flight is well represented with four players. Notably, Olympique Lyonnais has three of their own making the cut: Eugenie Le Sommer, Amandine Henry and Wendie Renard, the most from any one club.
“I am very proud to be voted in the FIFPro World XI. It is an honor for me to be a part of this team with all these great players,” said Le Sommer.
Paris Saint Germain’s Anja Mittag is one of two Germans in attack, lining up alongside Celia Sasic who only recently announced her retirement from the game.
"I'm very happy to be in the team, especially knowing that it's the players who voted,” said Mittag. “It's really great to know that from this moment on we’ll have our own World XI.”
This World XI breaks new ground, the first award of its kind, for men or women, to contain players from the United States, Canada and Japan, with Aya Miyama being the sole representatitve from Asia.
The concept of a Women’s World XI developed over the course of 2015 after FIFPro, the global players’ union, listened to numerous requests from female players seeking the same recognition as their male counterparts. FIFPro created the first World XI for men in 2005.
“This is a landmark for the women’s game,” said FIFPro General-Secretary Theo van Seggelen.
Female players of 33 different nationalities spread out over 20 countries participated in the test vote, the process for which is still being refined as part of a pilot phase to ensure as many players as possible have a chance to participate in future years.
Players are required to pick one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards, using the same format employed in deciding the men’s award.
For the first time, players were invited to make their submissions using an electronic voting system. This was combined with the traditional method of club and national team visits where players fill in ballot forms by hand.
Women's World XI
• Hope Solo (USA, Seattle Reign FC)
• Wendie Renard (France, Lyon)
• Meghan Klingenberg (USA, Houston Dash)
• Kadeisha Buchanan (Canada, West Virginia Mountaineers)
• Julie Johnston (USA, Chicago Red Stars)
• Carli Lloyd (USA, Houston Dash)
• Amandine Henry (France, Lyon)
• Aya Miyama (Japan, Okoyama Yunogo Belle)
• Celia Sasic (Germany, 1.FFC Frankfurt) *
• Eugenie Le Sommer (France, Lyon)
• Anja Mittag (Germany, PSG)
- Published: 18 February 2016