Best Women’s Soccer Role Models for Young Players to Emulate

    We are truly living in a golden era for women’s soccer. The 2023 Women’s World Cup was easily the biggest and most successful women’s soccer tournament ever. Attendance and viewership for the Women’s World Cup were never higher. There was also a 365% increase in soccer betting during the 2023 Women’s World Cup compared to the 2019 tournament. Equally important, the 2023 Women’s World Cup helped to introduce a younger generation of aspiring players to star players and role models from all over the world.

    Young female soccer players in the U.S. have always had the 1999 World Cup champions to admire and emulate. However, there is a new crop of soccer role models from all corners of the globe for young girls to look up to for what they do both on and off the field. There are almost too many to name, but here are some of the best women’s soccer role models in the world today.


    Alex Morgan

    Believe it or not, Morgan wasn’t always the most talented player on the field. She’s often talked about the hard work she put into getting better and how she stuck with soccer for the love of the game. Morgan didn’t first become an elite player until after she got to high school and then endured an ACL tear at age 17. Her story is one of perseverance and how hard work can sometimes overcome a lack of natural talent, making her a great example for others to follow.

    Despite not being the best player on the field growing up, Morgan grew up to become one of the world’s most prolific goal scorers. She won two World Cups while scoring over 120 international goals and even served as captain of the USWNT for a few years. Off the field, Morgan was an integral part of the national team’s fight for equal pay and has also written several books intended for young readers.


    Nadia Nadim

    There is perhaps no athlete on the planet who is a greater inspiration than Nadim. The average person could live two or three lifetimes and not accomplish everything Nadim has in a little under 40 years. While she plays internationally for Denmark, Nadim was born in Afghanistan and saw firsthand the cost of conflict when her father was murdered by the Taliban when she was just nine.

    Overcoming all of that to play for her adopted country would have been a great story in itself. But Nadim has done so much more. During her professional career, she attended medical school, becoming a certified doctor in 2022. Despite being a professional soccer player, she prepared herself for life after soccer and couldn’t have set the bar any higher. She also speaks nine languages, which is no small feat either.


    Leah Williamson

    On the field, there aren’t many players who are better leaders than Williamson. She was the captain of the England squad that won the 2022 Euros despite not even being a guaranteed starter in the preceding years. Williamson became a shining example of how to keep pursuing your dreams without getting discouraged and how to be a great leader.

    Off the field, Williamson’s contributions are just as significant. She has been outspoken about both sexism and gender equality in the sporting world, not to mention leading the charge in England for equal pay on the women’s national team. Williamson went so far as to petition the UK government for schools to provide equal access to sports for both boys and girls and require two hours of physical education for kids every week. Those are measures that will have a positive impact on kids throughout the UK that likely would not have happened without Williamson leading the way.



    For more than two decades, Brazil’s Marta has been both a great soccer player and a great example for others to follow when it comes to longevity. She became the first player – of either gender – to play at five different World Cups. But Marta hasn’t just played at World Cups, she’s been a star, including being the leading scorer at the 2007 World Cup.

    Younger players can admire her skill and the flair she has when she’s on the field and appreciate how much hard work it took to be that good. They can also see the joy she gets out of playing the game and how much she still enjoys it. But younger players should also understand the hard work and dedication Marta has shown. Otherwise, she would not have been a world-class player for so long.




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