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UEFA Women's Champions League

Women’s Team of the Decade: Rapinoe and Marta in, Morgan out

7:00 AM EDT 10/12/19
Rapinoe Marozsan Marta split
As 2020 approaches, Goal picks out an XI of the best players from the women's game over the last 10 years
  • Hope Solo USA 2015

    GK: Hope Solo

    Hope Solo divided opinion throughout her career, but never for her talent.

    The former United States shot-stopper was named IFFHS’ Best Women’s Goalkeeper for four consecutive years, picked up the Women’s World Cup Golden Glove and Bronze Ball in 2011 and was named in both FIFPRO XIs that were voted on before her retirement in 2016.

    After going home with a silver medal in the decade’s first World Cup, the error-free Solo got her hands on the trophy four years later, the highlight of a 16-year international career that brought about 202 caps and Olympic Gold in 2012.

  • Wendie Renard Lyon 2019

    CB: Wendie Renard

    Few players have as many accolades to show from this decade than Wendie Renard.

    Ten successive Division 1 titles, seven Coupe de France trophies and six Champions League titles show the dominance that Lyon have assumed over the last 10 years.

    The towering centre-back has been key to that: helping them be one of the best defensive teams in Europe, while also scoring over 100 goals.

    For France, she’s yet to taste the same success, but made the Dream Teams for Euro 2013 and the 2015 World Cup, with a place in every FIFPRO XI so far to boot.

  • Nilla Fischer Wolfsburg 2019

    CB: Nilla Fischer

    That Nilla Fischer improved European champions Wolfsburg when she arrived in 2014 speaks wonders of her ability.

    The commanding centre-back, who can also operate as a defensive midfielder, would eventually become club captain, winning four league titles, five German cups and the Champions League in six years.

    The 35-year-old has made the last three FIFPRO XIs, the latest helped by the Women’s World Cup Bronze medal she guided Sweden to this summer.

    Add another of those, an Olympic Silver and three titles from her time with Malmo at the beginning of the decade, and it’s been a trophy-laden 10 years.

  • Becky Sauerbrunn USA 2019

    CB: Becky Sauerbrunn

    The United States have long produced reliable, commanding defenders, few better than Becky Sauerbrunn.

    The 34-year-old was crucial to Kansas City’s back-to-back NWSL Championships in 2014 and 2015, named Defender of the Year for both campaigns, as well as in 2013. She is also the only player to be named in every NWSL Best XI since the competition’s inception in 2013.

    For her country, two World Cups and Olympic Gold are the highlights of a wonderful 11-year international career. For the last three, she has showcased another part of her game, playing a crucial role to help her centre-back partner, Abby Dahlkemper, develop into one of the world’s best.

  • Ali Krieger USA 2019

    RWB: Ali Krieger

    After a two-year absence, Ali Krieger’s USWNT recall for this summer’s World Cup was a testament to her reliability.

    The full-back played every minute as the USA finished runners-up to Japan in 2011 and four years later, she started every game as they claimed the title.

    This year, she played just three games as the USA defended their crown, but was a crucial half-time substitute in the semi-final against England.

    With two places in the NWSL’s Best XI and a vote into the 2016 FIFPRO XI, few have been a model of consistency over the last 10 years quite like the 35-year-old.

  • Amandine Henry France 2019

    CM: Amandine Henry

    Defensive midfielders are often under-appreciated and Amandine Henry is no different.

    Aside from two FIFPRO XI inclusions and the Women's World Cup Silver Ball award in 2015, the 30-year-old, who is one of the most complete midfielders the game has ever seen, has not been recognised as much as she deserves.

    Instrumental for Lyon, Henry has won nine league titles, six French cups and five Champions League titles since 2010. The one league title she missed out came as a result of being a success in the United States – picking up the NWSL Shield and Championship in two years at Portland Thorns.

  • Dzsenifer Marozsan Lyon 2019

    CM: Dzsenifer Marozsan

    At the beginning of the decade, Dzsenifer Marozsan was a fresh-faced, exciting playmaker, just about to make her senior debut for Germany aged 17.

    As the decade comes to an end, she has collected four Champions League titles, four domestic cups and three league titles.

    The 27-year-old – picked out by Lyon team-mate Lucy Bronze as the best player in the world – has also performed on the biggest stage with Germany, winning gold medals at the 2013 Euros and 2016 Olympics.

    It is no wonder she has been named Germany’s Female Footballer of the Year three times, with a place in this team a no-brainer.

  • Kim Little Arsenal 2019

    CM: Kim Little

    What has Kim Little not done this decade?

    After winning every domestic title with Arsenal, the creative midfielder moved Stateside in 2013, winning the Golden Boot and named NWSL MVP in her first year. She inspired Reign FC to Shield wins in back-to-back seasons and was twice named in the league’s Best XI before a year in Australia, where she won the Grand Final with Melbourne City.

    Little returned to Arsenal in 2017, took the captain’s armband and guided the Gunners to their first league title in seven years earlier in April. To top it all off, the 29-year-old also helped Scotland qualify for their first Euros and World Cup, scoring at the latter.

  • Megan Rapinoe USA 2019

    LWB: Megan Rapinoe

    This summer's Women’s World Cup - and all the accolades that came with it - threw Megan Rapinoe into the limelight, but the winger has been one of the very best in the game for many years.

    Since making her international debut as a 21-year-old, Rapinoe has been indispensable, going to three World Cup finals, winning two, and collecting an Olympic Gold.

    At club level, the 34-year-old was a key member of the Reign FC side that topped the NWSL standings in 2014 and 2015, fresh off the back of two seasons with European giants Lyon, and after three appearances in the NWSL Best XI Second Team, made the First Team in 2018.

  • Marta Brazil 2019

    ST: Marta

    Marta’s greatest achievement in her career so far was helping Brazil to the 2007 Women’s World Cup final, but she has not been short of highlights in the last 10 years either.

    The 33-year-old, widely regarded as the greatest female footballer of all time, started the 2010s off with back-to-back league titles in the USA, before returning to Sweden. There, she won three more league titles and reached the Champions League final with Tyreso.

    For her country, she continues to provide magic on the regular, winning the women’s Copa America twice this decade, before becoming the World Cup’s all-time top-scorer this summer.

  • Eugenie Le Sommer France 2019

    ST: Eugenie Le Sommer

    After finishing the 2009-10 season with 22 goals from 24 games, Eugenie Le Sommer joined Lyon just as she turned 20 years old, and has become one of the deadliest forwards in the world since.

    With that has come nine league titles, seven domestic cups and six Champions League titles and, with her goal-scoring rate, a swathe of individual awards.

    For France, things have yet to fall into place, with only a couple of Cyprus Cups and the 2017 SheBelieves Cup to show for her efforts. Still, the 30-year-old’s record of 80 goals from 167 caps is something to be incredibly proud of.  

  • Alex Morgan Abby Wambach USA 2011

    Honourable Mentions

    There has been an incredible number of truly world class midfielders over the last 10 years, meaning some were always going to be unlucky to miss out on this team.

    Jess Fishlock, Wales' greatest ever player and still one of the best in the world, is one of those. The 32-year-old has won titles in Holland, Australia, the USA, Germany and France this decade, seamlessly transferring her talent across timezones with ease.

    Camile Abily, who retired in 2018, won everything with Lyon in two stints with the French giants, but the attacking midfielder, who scored goals at the rate of a centre-forward, also won domestic titles with Montpellier before, and was a Championship winner in the USA.

    Carli Lloyd deserves mention for her hat-trick in the 2015 Women's World Cup final alone, the third goal one a strike from the halfway line of the very highest quality. That won the United States the first of two World Cup titles this decade, after the disappointment of the defeat to Japan in 2011.

    Alex Morgan is another key member of the USWNT who has had an incredible 10 years, while no-one was more important to the team's World Cup win this summer than Julie Ertz, who was irreplaceable in holding midfield, four years after being a key member from central defence. Abby Wambach completes a quartet of Americans who deserve a mention, still the all-time top-scorer at international level, although Canada's Christine Sinclair is chasing her record down since she retired.

    Other strikers worthy of a mention include Celia Sasic, whose career ended in 2015 with her first Champions League winners' medal. The Germany international, who won Euro 2013 with her country, hung up her boots at the tender age of 27, but with a record of 63 goals in 111 caps.

    Lotta Schelin is another player whose talent has shone throughout the last 10 years, the Swedish forward retiring with a club record of 344 goals in 380 games, numbers complemented by a plethora of trophies and a similarly prolific international career.

  • Women's Team of the Decade

    How they line up

    So, there you have it, our Women's Team of the Decade!

    But what do you make of our selections? Are there any glaring omissions, in your opinion?

    Post your thoughts – and your own line-ups – in the comments...