The FIFA Women’s World Cup is just around the corner, and the leading nations and players from around the globe are set to meet in Australia and New Zealand. The main talking points surrounding the tournament are in relation to the potential winner. Could the United States retain its crown? Or could England achieve major tournament successes in back-to-back years?
Another key point for consideration, though, is which players will prove their worth as stars as in the event Down Under. Obviously, some players might not harness the greatest chances of team success, however, this doesn’t mean they’re ineligible for the Golden Ball Award.
Coming into the tournament hot, Megan Rapinoe will be bidding to retain her 2019 award, but who are her strongest competitors?
Chelsea’s Sam Kerr is the star of the Australia squad that will look to make a success of their home tournament. They are one of the few realistic winners of the competition this summer with current outright Women’s World Cup betting markets pricing the Aussies at odds of +1000 to lift the trophy on home turf.
The likes of the US, England, and Germany are favored to be the eventual winners. But Australia should remain in the tournament long enough for Kerr to make a strong case to be awarded the Golden Ball.
Born winner 🇦🇺💙 pic.twitter.com/s7NYRZhs9k— FIFA Women’s World Cup (@FIFAWWC) May 14, 2023
Kerr is coming off the back of an impressive season with Chelsea, where she spearheaded their Women’s Super League triumph. She’s widely recognized as one of the greatest forwards ever in the women’s game and a World Cup Golden Ball Award would be the icing on the cake of a stellar career.
Kerr scores an abundance of goals and assists, regardless of the opposition she faces – if Australia goes far, it will be tough to bid against her making a strong claim for the award.
Alexia Putellas is undoubtedly the greatest player on the planet after winning back-to-back Ballon d’Or awards over the past couple of years. Her nation Spain is expected to go far in the Oceania tournament, the only question is in regards to Putellas’ fitness.
Putellas suffered an anterior cruciate ligament tear a year ago and is in a race against time to be fit from the offset of the tournament. Her recovery is crucial as she’s an all-action midfielder that will surely decide games for Spain dependent on her fitness. If a match fit Putellas is available prior to the conclusion of the group stage, then she will certainly be the favorite to scoop the Golden Ball honor.
Alex Morgan may go head-to-head with Rapinoe to claim the Golden Ball award. As we all know, the USA will surely play the maximum amount of games in the tournament, so there’ll be plenty of time for Morgan to prove her abilities on the pitch.
Historically, Morgan has made a habit of turning up in full force at major tournaments for her nation. Despite the potential threat of other big-game players, we’re sure she’s likely to display her edge and perhaps steal away with the Golden Ball Award accolade in the process.
The Golden Ball Awards often go to a genuine world-class player – very rarely does an unexpected competitor emerge and claim the award for the greatest player. The women’s game is constantly improving and this year’s tournament could represent the peak of competitiveness so far. A huge amount of ridiculously talented players will be targeting the Golden Ball Award as a side quest to potential World Cup glory.