BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 2023: Voting open with winner announced on 28 November

24 October 2023 0 By Total Football News

In 2019 the closest Earps could come to a Lionesses place was sitting on the bench as England’s third-choice goalkeeper at the World Cup.

Now, however, she’s become a name synonymous with the Lionesses’ success and has cemented her spot as one of the game’s greatest goalkeepers.

After being handed her Lionesses chance by manager Sarina Wiegman she helped guide them to last year’s Euro 2022 victory and was ever-present as her side reached the World Cup final this time round, saving a penalty in the defeat by Spain.

The last season was another important chapter in Earps’ career and her shot-stopping abilities helped Manchester United finish second in the Women’s Super League and a spot in the FA Cup final.

A stellar 2022-23 resulted in her being named Fifa Best women’s goalkeeper and England women’s player of the year, receiving the WSL and Fifa golden gloves, and being selected in the PFA’s WSL team of the year.

BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 2023: Sam Kerr profile

Age: 30 Country: Australia

Club: Chelsea Position: Forward

Sam Kerr once again provided the firepower as Chelsea’s maintained their dominance of English women’s football.

She scored 29 goals in 38 games in all competitions as she continued her knack for finding the net at crucial times to help her side win another Women’s Super League and FA Cup double.

The Australian was the deciding factor as the Blues beat Manchester United in the FA Cup final, her goal the only difference in that match and and she has now scored in the past three FA Cup finals.

However, her World Cup didn’t quite go to plan. She was billed as the face of the tournament, but had to watch from the sidelines until the quarter-finals because of injury.

She still managed to make her mark in the semi-finals with a stunning equaliser against England, and, although it wasn’t enough to prevent her country’s exit, it earned Kerr a Puskas award nomination – an award which recognises the best finish in world football.

Other awards which came her way this year included being named the Football Writers’ Association Women’s footballer of the year for the second year running, being among the Professional Footballers’ Association’s team of the season, and being nominated for the Fifa Best awards.

Read Sam Kerr’s full profile

Alexandra Popp

BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 2023: Alexandra Popp profile

Age: 32 Country: Germany

Club: Wolfsburg Position: Forward

Alexandra Popp has long been one of the women’s game’s most clinical forwards but, surprisingly, the accolade of topping the scoring charts in Germany’s top flight – the Frauen-Bundesliga – eluded her, until last season.

Popp has had a career blighted by injury but bounced back in fine form after she was cruelly ruled out of the Euro 2022 final – and her performances as a striker at the Euros saw her retain that position at club level.

Her 16 goals led Wolfsburg to finishing just two points behind Bayern Munich on the final day of the league season, while she lifted the German Cup for the 10th time with the She-Wolves. The Germany captain also scored in the Champions League final, although her side ended up losing 3-2 to Barcelona.

The vastly experienced Popp took part in her third World Cup in the summer and while Germany – one of the initial favourites – were knocked out in the group stages that didn’t prevent her being able to display her trademark abilities in the box.

Her four goals – just one fewer than Golden Boot winner Hinata Miyazawa – was a particularly impressive feat given she only played three matches.

Read Alexandra Popp’s full profile

Fridolina Rolfo

BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 2023: Fridolina Rolfö profile

Age: 29 Country: Sweden

Club: Barcelona Position: Forward/full-back

Fridolina Rolfo is used to starring on the biggest stages and she did so once again in May, scoring the winner as Barcelona came from 2-0 down to beat Wolfsburg 3-2 and win the Champions League in Eindhoven.

It was third time lucky for the Swede – who returned to the starting line-up after a five-week absence through injury – after she previously found herself on the losing side in the European showpiece for both Barca and former club Wolfsburg.

The Swedish forward is versatile, with Barcelona deploying her in a defensive role last season, her work helping the side to storm to a La Liga triumph, finishing 10 points clear of runners-up Real Madrid.

And when Sweden faced a penalty shootout against reigning champions the USA in the last 16 of the World Cup, she stood up to take the first kick as they earned a victory that ensured an early exit for one of the favourites.

Sweden lost to eventual winners Spain in the semis, but Rolfo took home a bronze medal and scored three goals across the tournament, including in the third-place play-off as they triumphed over co-hosts Australia.

Read Fridolina Rolfo’s full profile

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