Asisat Oshoala has been ranked as number 33 on the Guardian’s list of 100 best female footballers of 2020. She and Malawian star, Tabitha Chawinga are the only Africans on the list. Oshoala, who was at number 86 on the 2018 list and number 55 on the 2019 list, moved up 22 places on this year’s list.
In contrast, Tabitha Chawinga, who was the highest ranked African on the 2018 list at number 71, fell 24 places to number 95 on the 2019 list and has now fallen a further 5 places to number 100 on this year’s list.
Pernille Harder of Chelsea and Denmark was listed as the best female player for 2020, while Vivianne Miedema of Arsenal and the Netherlands was ranked second and Lucy Bronze of Manchester City and England was ranked third.
However, I have reservations about this list. I think that it was based on reputation rather than form. Former World Best Player, Lieke Martens, was ranked above Asisat Oshoala, even though she has had a bad year by her standards. Martens was injured during the 2019 World Cup and it took some time for her to recover and find her form. She was often played out of position when she recovered, especially when Graham was injured and Martens was made to cover for her. Meanwhile Oshoala had a great year and finished as the second highest scorer in the league. Oshoala was nominated in UEFA’s team of the season while Martens was not nominated.
Similarly, there are lots of other Africans that did better than Tabitha Chawinga this year. Barbra Banda was the top scorer in the Chinese League and she fired Zambia to their first-ever Olympics. Temwa Chawinga (Tabitha’s sister) fired Wuhan to first Chinese title and Ajara Nchout was the top scorer/winner of the Norwegian league.
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