Women's Football

Who is the greatest female player?

The recent FIFA Women's World Cup in China provided a timely reminder of the depth of talent to be found within the female game.

The tournament certainly unearthed several new stars, providing the likes of Kelly Smith, Cristiane, Collette McCallum and Nadine Angerer - all erstwhile unknown to all but the most dedicated followers - with the opportunity to announce their arrival on the world stage. It also helped cement the status of some existing heroines, strengthening the esteem in which, for example, Birgit Prinz, Germany's strong and selfless captain, has long been held.

Perhaps most significantly, China 2007 confirmed Marta's current place at the pinnacle of her profession, with the brilliant Brazilian's form so devastating that not even a missed penalty in the final could prevent her claiming both the adidas Golden Ball and Golden Shoe. Many, indeed, believe that the women's game has never before seen the likes of a player who possesses such power, pace and panache that, at just 21, the world is already at her feet.

There are plenty others, however, who believe that Marta still has some way to go before she can emulate female football's original icon: the pioneering Mia Hamm. The legendary USA star is, indeed, one of several standouts to have emerged under the banner of the stars and stripes, with the 340 caps won by Kristine Lilly and 105 international goals scored Michelle Akers testament to their impressive respective credentials.

Prinz herself, a three-time FIFA Women's World Player of the Year, must also be considered a candidate for the tag 'best-ever', while an injury-free Hanna Ljungberg would also be a sure-fire contender. Asia, too, has produced some of women's football's all-time greats, from Chinese standard-bearer Sun Wen to the recently-crowned AFC Women's Player of the Year, Ri Kum-Suk.

Yet, as with all our 'Have You Say' topics, the job of debating these stars' respective merits is not for us, but rather for you, the FIFA.com users. So, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is tell us which of the players who have illuminated women's football down the years can be declared the greatest ever.

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