The Best FIFA Football Awards™

The Best FIFA Football Awards™

Thursday 17 December 2020

The Best FIFA Football Awards™

The FIFA/FIFPro Women’s World11 – one year on

The FIFA FIFPro Women's World XI 2019
© Getty Images
  • FIFA.com looks back at the inaugural FIFA/FIFPro Women’s World11 2019
  • Five Americans were included in the team
  • On 17 December, the FIFA FIFPro Women’s World11 2020 will be unveiled

What with the Covid-19 crisis, halted league campaigns and postponed tournaments, women’s football has not had an easy time of it in recent months. For the 11 players who made up the FIFA/FIFPro Women’s World11 2019, the last 12 months has varied considerably. While some have enjoyed a year that could almost be described as ‘normal’, others have opted to take a bit of a breather. FIFA.com looks back at their respective seasons.

Sari van Veenendaal

30 years old

Position: Goalkeeper

Club: Atletico Madrid/PSV

2020 honours:

Sari van Veenendaal’s year has been a little tricky. While she benefitted from the confidence of her coach in the UEFA Women’s Champions League, she had to share domestic goalkeeping duties at Atletico Madrid with Spanish shot-stopper Lola Gallardo, and in the end only started ten league games. Even more surprisingly, although she had been instrumental in the Netherlands’ fine run at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™, the Dutchwoman had to compete for playing time with Lize Kop and Loes Geurts during the Tournoi de France and the qualifying campaign for the 2022 UEFA European Women’s Championship.

Extra info: In May, following on from her stints at Arsenal and Atletico, Van Veenendaal signed on the dotted line for PSV, her third club in three years.

Sari van Veenendaal (Netherlands - PSV Eindhoven)
© imago images

Wendie Renard

30 years old

Position: Defender

Club: Lyon

2020 honours:French League, French Cup, UEFA Women’s Champions League, Tournoi de France

Despite spending 14 seasons at Lyon, Wendie Renard’s desire for success shows no signs of abating. Not for the first time, she lifted every trophy available to her club: a 14th French league title, a ninth French Cup and a seventh Champions League crown. In addition, Renard won the first-ever Tournoi de France with Les Bleues.

Extra info: This year, the Lyon captain surpassed the 100-goal mark at club level – a rare achievement for a defender.

Wendie Renard (France - OL)
© imago images

Lucy Bronze

29 years old

Position: Defender

Club: Lyon/Manchester City

2020 honours: French League, French Cup, UEFA Women’s Champions League

One of the first names on the teamsheet for club and country, English full-back Lucy Bronze shone again on the right flank, securing several trophies with Lyon. She subsequently decided to return to Manchester City, the club with which she had already spent three seasons, from 2014 to 2017.

Extra info: Prior to joining the Citizens, Bronze agreed to extend her contract with Lyon by a few weeks so that she could take part in the final stages of the postponed Champions League tournament.

Lucy Bronze (England - OL)
© imago images

Kelley O'Hara

32 years old

Position: Defender

Club: Utah Royals

2020 honours: SheBelieves Cup

Kelley O’Hara, a two-time Women’s World Cup winner, has had an up-and-down year. After participating in four of the United States’ five qualifiers for the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Tokyo 2020, and in two of the three SheBelieves Cup encounters, her playing time evaporated and she ended up registering just 65 additional minutes for the season, which came during two NWSL Challenge Cup matches. She then decided not to take part in the NWSL Fall Series.

Extra info: In August, O'Hara was close to signing for Washington Spirit, but the deal ultimately fell through.

Kelley O'Hara (USA - Utah Royals)
© imago images

Nilla Fischer

36 years old

Position: Defender

Club: Linkopings FC

2020 honours:

After six seasons spent marshalling the Wolfsburg defence, Nilla Fisher opted to return to her former club, Linkopings, in her native Sweden. This move meant that, in 2020, for the first time since 2013, she did not play any Champions League football. She and her team-mates suffered an early elimination in the Swedish Cup, while finishing fourth in the league.

Extra info: Captain of Linkopings, Fischer wears a rainbow-coloured armband to show her support for LGBT rights.

Nilla Fischer (Sweden - Linkopings)
© imago images

Julie Ertz

28 years old

Position: Midfielder

Club: Chicago Red Stars

2020 honours: SheBelieves Cup, NWSL Challenge Cup runner-up

Compared to her American compatriots in the FIFA FIFPro Women’s World11, it is fair to suggest that Julie Ertz enjoyed the most successful season. She played a key role in the USA’s qualification for Tokyo 2020 and in their victory at the SheBelieves Cup, and then led the Chicago Red Stars to the final of the NWSL Challenge Cup.

Extra info: In tandem with her husband Zach, a tight end with NFL outfit Philadelphia Eagles, the combative midfielder has launched a number of creditable initiatives through their Ertz Family Foundation. The latest one has seen them offer 2,500 meals to local food banks in Philadelphia every time the Eagles score a touchdown.

Julie Ertz (USA - Chicago Red Stars)
© imago images

Rose Lavelle

25 years old

Position: Midfielder

Club: Washington Spirit/Manchester City

2020 honours: SheBelieves Cup, Women’s FA Cup, Women’s FA Community Shield runner-up

Women’s World Cup winner Rose Lavelle has had a busy year. After starring with the US national side at the beginning of the season, she took part in the NWSL Challenge Cup, where she and her Washington Spirit team-mates were eliminated on penalties by Sky Blue FC. Following a transfer to Manchester City in August 2020, she claimed her first domestic honour with her new employers in early November, helping to defeat Everton in the final of the Women’s FA Cup.

Extra info: Although Lavelle moved from Washington Spirit to Manchester City directly, she also made sure she signed a contract with OL Reign. The Seattle club will add her to their squad list once the English league season has drawn to a close.

Rose Lavelle (USA - Manchester City)
© imago images

Amandine Henry

31 years old

Position: Midfielder

Club: Lyon

2020 honours: French League, French Cup, UEFA Women’s Champions League, Tournoi de France

Injured during a Champions League quarter-final, Amandine Henry was unable to play in the latter stages of the tournament, but that did not prevent her from holding aloft the continental trophy for the sixth time. Before being sidelined, she had also participated in Lyon’s domestic league and cup triumphs.

Extra info: Despite skippering France, Henry’s relationship with her national coach has been a little strained of late. Dropped by Corinne Diacre last month, she made some critical remarks to the press before being recalled to the French squad.

Amandine Henry (France - OL)
© imago images

Marta

34 years old

Position: Forward

Club: Orlando Pride

2020 honours:

Due to a number of players testing positive for Covid-19, Orlando Pride were forced to withdraw from the NWSL Challenge Cup. The knock-on effect of this was that Marta did not play a club match between 13 October 2019 and 19 September 2020, when the Florida club kicked off their NWSL Fall Series games. With the Brazilian national team, she starred in the inaugural Tournoi de France, but she could do nothing to stop her side from finishing in last place.

Extra info: A keen advocate for the development of women’s football, Marta and her team-mates made a case for equal pay to the Brazilian Football Confederation, who recently announced that female internationals would now earn the same prize money and daily rates as their male counterparts when on international duty.

Marta (Brazil - Orlando Pride)
© imago images

Megan Rapinoe

35 years old

Position: Forward

Club: OL Reign

2020 honours: SheBelieves Cup

After shining brightly throughout 2019, Megan Rapinoe has only made eight appearances and scored two goals in 2020, all as part of the USA team that qualified for Tokyo 2020 in February and emerged victorious from the SheBelieves Cup in March. Since then, she has not competed in an official match.

Extra info: While Rapinoe’s football outings have been few and far between, her life off the pitch has been hectic. Not only did she write and publish her autobiography, as well as vocally supporting Joe Biden’s campaign in the US presidential election, but she also asked her partner, basketball legend Sue Bird, to marry her.

Megan Rapinoe (USA - OL Reign)
© imago images

Alex Morgan

31 years old

Position: Forward

Club: Orlando Pride/Tottenham Hotspur

2020 honours:

A few months after securing a winners’ medal at France 2019, Alex Morgan decided to temporarily put her career on hold in order to give birth to her daughter Charlie. She returned to competitive action a few weeks ago in London, where she now pulls on the jersey of Tottenham Hotspur.

Extra info: Although she was seven months pregnant at the time, Morgan took part in the Stars and Stripes’ training sessions in February. The dynamic striker had hoped to make a comeback in time for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, but the event was ultimately postponed until 2021.

Alex Morgan (USA - Tottenham Hotspur)
© imago images

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