Women’s World Cup 2023: your guide to all 736 players

11 months ago 73




New Zealand

Jump to another team



New Zealand’s World Cup record so far reads 15 games played, won none, but a warm-up win over Vietnam has boosted morale. Read the team guide here.

Strengths

Key players such as CJ Bott and Ria Percival have timed their recovery perfectly; the tactical acumen of veteran defender Ali Riley and home advantage.

Weaknesses

An inability to score goals that may require taking a chance on relative newcomers such as Gabi Rennie and Milly Clegg.





Norway

Jump to another team



Having crashed out of the Euros at the group stage last summer this group is keen to show what they really can do. Read the team guide here.

Strengths

The forward line is one of the best in the tournament with Ada Hegerberg, Caroline Graham Hansen and Guro Reiten all contributing goals and assists.

Weaknesses

Do not always display the defensive stability required to beat the top teams while seeing off weaker sides have also been a problem in the past year.





Philippines

Jump to another team



Will be pleased to be in a group without a traditional heavyweight but may still struggle to get any further. Read the team guide here.

Strengths

The coach, Alen Stajcic, has moulded the Filipinas into a tight unit, with defensive solidarity and the team unity the keys to success.

Weaknesses

They tend to struggle against teams who are quick in transition as the back four is vulnerable to speed. Hali Long and Angie Beard will have to be at their best.





Switzerland

Jump to another team



At their second World Cup, Switzerland will be hoping to make it out of the group again, just as they did in 2015. Read the team guide here.

Strengths

This squad has several players at top clubs in Europe and the mix between experience and youth is just right. What’s more: the team spirit is really good.

Weaknesses

As coach Inka Grings says, they have a 'damn dangerous' dependence on key players Lia Wälti, Ramona Bachmann and Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic.





Australia

Jump to another team



Fired by a golden generation of players who are hitting form at the right time, they are hoping to better their previous best of a quarter-finals appearance. Read the team guide here.

Strengths

Coach Tony Gustavsson has an experienced squad with strength in depth across the board, and in Sam Kerr they have a world-beating striker. Home advantage too.

Weaknesses

Several big names are returning from injury while certain defensive frailties have not been fully ironed out. And can they cope with the weight of expectation?





Canada

Jump to another team



The reigning Olympic champions are keen to win more silverware before the team enter a period of transition into a new era. Read the team guide here.

Star player
Christine Sinclair

Strengths

One of the best defensive teams in the world, they won that Olympic gold on the back of resistance on the ground, a strong aerial presence and solid goalkeeping.

Weaknesses

The lingering question for a while has been where the goals are going to come from. They will have to take advantage of the opportunities they create.





Nigeria

Jump to another team



Arrive at the World Cup having lost their Africa Cup of Nations crown and with the coach, Randy Waldrum, at war with the FA. Read the team guide here.

Star player
Asisat Oshoala

Strengths

There is a huge goal threat in the team with Barcelona’s Asisat Oshoala being backed up by Atlético Madrid’s Rasheedat Ajibade and Saint-Étienne’s Esther Okoronkwo.

Weaknesses

Oshoala has so much gravitas in the team that when she plays her teammates can try too hard to play her in early, often breaking up the passing rhythm.





Republic of Ireland

Jump to another team



World Cup first-timers, this is a journey in to the unknown and in a tough group to boot. Read the team guide here.

Strengths

Vera Pauw’s safety-first approach - wing-backs, three central defenders and two midfielders often dropping deep - means the side can be hard to break down.

Weaknesses

They struggle for goals against quality opposition and failed to score any in friendlies against China, USA (twice) and France in the buildup.





Costa Rica

Jump to another team



Playing at their second World Cup with a generation of players considered the country’s best so far. Read the team guide here.

Star player
Raquel Rodríguez

Strengths

The coach, Amelia Valverde, puts World Cup qualification down to the discipline, respect, loyalty and hard work of her players. ‘They push me to improve,’ she says.

Weaknesses

Valverde took a risk by leaving out the all-time hero Shirley Cruz from her squad and pre-tournament results have been patchy.





Japan

Jump to another team



Twelve years on from their triumph in 2011, Japan have a squad of players who have already enjoyed World Cup wins at Under-17 and U-20 level. Read the team guide here.

Strengths

Yui Hasegawa’s inventive play is a real weapon for Japan in midfield and the team is highly cohesive and full of youthful energy.

Weaknesses

This is a very inexperienced squad, not least because Mana Iwabuchi was left out. They will be heavily reliant on Saki Kumagai for leadership.

Profiles written by Mari Hibino





Spain

Jump to another team



Spain have never reached the quarter-finals of a Women’s World Cup yet a last-eight finish is the least that is expected of them in Australia and New Zealand. Read the team guide here.

Star player
Alexia Putellas

Strengths

Spain are now a team with self-belief and experience at this level, especially the Barcelona contigent who just won the Champions League.

Weaknesses

With an average age of 25.2 years, Spain have one of the youngest squads at the World Cup, Jorge Vilda having gambled on inexperienced players.





Zambia

Jump to another team



After strong showings at last year’s Wafcon and the Cosafa Women’s Championship the team have hopes of reaching the knockout stage. Read the team guide here.

Strengths

There is firepower up front in Racheal Kundananji and Barbra Banda and they recently stunned Euro finalists Germany 3-2 in a friendly.

Weaknesses

The defence can buckle without key players as a 10 conceded goals in two games against South Korea showed in the spring.





China

Jump to another team



Have never been eliminated at the group stage in the six World Cups they have played at and, as the reigning Asian champions, they will look to maintain that record. Read the team guide here.

Strengths

The players have complete trust in the coach, Shui Qingxia, and as representing the Steel Roses carries a significance that transcends football itself in China, the players are highly motivated.

Weaknesses

Most players lack the experience of playing against high-calibre international opposition and warm-up games were limited to two friendlies against Russia.

Profiles written by William Bi





Denmark

Jump to another team



Back at a World Cup for the first time since 2007, a Pernille Harder-led Denmark hope to reach the knockout stage – and perhaps go quite a bit further. Read the team guide here.

Star player
Pernille Harder

Strengths

A great mix of youth and experience, Denmark have skilful players such as Kathrine Møller Kühl and Josefine Hasbo in midfield, wingers that will scare any defence and Harder up front.

Weaknesses

Despite having lots of firepower, Denmark have struggled to score in 2023 – and they struggle against a high-quality press.





England

Jump to another team



High on confidence after winning Euro 2022 Sarina Wiegman’s team will want to conquer the world in Australia/New Zealand. Read the team guide here.

Strengths

A well-drilled team with one of the best midfielders in the world, Keira Walsh, running the show and, in Lauren James, a developing game-changer.

Weaknesses

The injuries, of course. Three key players from the Euro 2022 triumph – Leah Williamson, Beth Mead and Fran Kirby – are all missing.





Haiti

Jump to another team



Defied expectations by beating Chile 2-1 in the inter-confederation playoff to emulate the men’s side from 1974 in reaching the World Cup. Read the team guide here.

Star player
Melchie Dumornay

Strengths

‘We go on the attack, taking on defenders one-on-one, running hard,’ says the coach Nicolas Delépine. ‘We bet on our attack because it is very strong.’

Weaknesses

An over-reliance on young star forward Melchie Dumornay as well as an inability to withstand sustained periods of pressure in defence.





Netherlands

Jump to another team



Having reached the World Cup final in 2019 they flopped at least year’s Euros, but seem reinvigorated under Andries Jonker. Read the team guide here.

Strengths

The young wing-backs Esmee Brugts and Victoria Pelova, together with the new attacking duo Lieke Martens and Lineth Beerensteyn, has given the team new impetus.

Weaknesses

Vivianne Miedema is missing and by introducing an extra defender Jonker’s team may struggle to create chances against top teams.





Portugal

Jump to another team



The team will enter their first World Cup on a high after a marathon qualifying campaign, which ended in added-on time in the final play-off. Read the team guide here.

Strengths

This team has been playing together for a long time, fostering a good team spirit down the years, and have the individual quality to surprise teams.

Weaknesses

Portugal have only arrived on the international scene in the past five years and still lack big-tournament experience. And the group is tough.







Can the US make history and win a third World Cup in a row? That’s the aim but the team is in transition. Read the team guide here.

Strengths

They have a good mix of experience in the old wise heads of Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan and youthful energy in Sophia Smith and Alyssa Thompson among others.

Weaknesses

Injuries to Mallory Swanson, Catarina Macario and Becky Sauerbrunn may have too much of an impact for them to go all the way.





Vietnam

Jump to another team



Have won the South East Asia Games four times in a row and are climbing in the world rankings. Read the team guide here.

Strengths

The team like to play on the counterattack with a pair of fast wingers (Tuyet Dung and Thanh Nha) and an agile striker in Huynh Nhu.

Weaknesses

The squad quality is not quite there yet to compete at this level. ‘But we can learn from the other teams,’ says the coach, Mai Duc Chung.

Profiles written by Minh Chien Tu





Brazil

Jump to another team



Won last year’s Copa América unbeaten and want to go further than the Last-16 elimations of 2015 and 2019.. Read the team guide here.

Strengths

Pia Sundhage has overseen a regeneration with youngsters such as Geyse and Aline Gomes being backed up by the experience of veterans Marta, Debinha and Rafaelle.

Weaknesses

The goalkeeping position with Lorena out injured and they have lost a lot of tournament experience since 2019.





France

Jump to another team



Have reached at least the quarter-finals in each of the last three tournaments. The last four is a stated goal. Read the team guide here.

Strengths

Veteran know-how in spades through Eugénie Le Sommer and Wendie Renard. In goal, Pauline Peyraud-Magnin is an underrated presence.

Weaknesses

Absences of Delphine Cascarino and Marie-Antoinette Katoto hurt the attacking threat. Griedge Mbock and Amandine Henry will also be missed.





Jamaica

Jump to another team



Have made huge strides since appearing at their first World Cup four years ago. Read the team guide here.

Strengths

There is speed aplenty in this group of players and up front they have one of the best finishers in the business in Khadija Shaw.

Weaknesses

Lorne Donaldson has worked hard to improve a leaky defence but, as the 5-0 defeat against the US last year showed, they struggle against the top teams.





Panama

Jump to another team



Having narrowly missed out on France 2019 they took the hard route to the finals, beating Paraguay in the intercontinental play-off final. Read the team guide here.

Strengths

The nucleus of the team has been together for some time now and coach Ignacio Quintana says they will arrive as prepared as humanly possible for some big tests.

Weaknesses

Huge underdogs in a difficult group with the recent 7-0 defeat against Spain an indication of their standing in world football at the moment.





Argentina

Jump to another team



This will be the Albiceleste’s fourth World Cup but they have yet to get out of their group, two draws in 2019 their best result. Read the team guide here.

Star player
Yamila Rodríguez

Strengths

They have a strong and intelligent midfield who are capable of dictating games and supplying the forwards, who can worry any defence, with killer balls.

Weaknesses

The defending can be suspect, especially against teams who play vertical balls behind the back four, and the forward line needs to be more clinical.





Italy

Jump to another team



With potential starters such as Sara Gama and Valentina Bergamaschi left out of the squad it will be really difficult to repeat the 2019 quarter-finals. Read the team guide here.

Star player
Cristiana Girelli

Strengths

Leaders such as Cristiana Girelli, Barbara Bonansea and Manuela Giugliano are now experienced at the top level and this is a tactically astute, defensively strong unit.

Weaknesses

Italy do not score a lot and the 2019 magic seem to have disappeared in the last couple of years. Hierarchies are not defined and does Milena Bertolini know what her preferred starting XI is?





South Africa

Jump to another team



Confidence is high after winning the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time last year. Read the team guide here.

Star player
Linda Motlhalo

Strengths

South Africa will look to hit opponents on the counter with midfielders Linda Motlhalo and Refiloe Jane adept at unleashing a speedy forward line with precise passes.

Weaknesses

They are relatively inexperienced on the international stage and the centre-back pairing of Bambanani Mbane and Noko Matlou are not as quick as they used to be.





Sweden

Jump to another team



Finished third in France 2019 and could repeat that if lessons from last year’s Euros have been learned. Read the team guide here.

Star player
Fridolina Rolfö

Strengths

Peter Gerhardsson has a versatile team where the collective will always be the key to success. The defence is one of the best in the tournament.

Weaknesses

Have had problems with the passes in the final third - and therefore creating chances – recently. And will Caroline Seger be able to play?





Colombia

Jump to another team



Waltzed into the World Cup by stringing together five straight wins in the Copa América held on home soil. Read the team guide here.

Star player
Daniela Montoya

Strengths

An exciting tiki-taka style of football, they have a real star in Real Madrid’s Linda Caicedo, one of the most promising players on the planet

Weaknesses

Colombia are often pleasing on the eye but can be profligate in front of goal and their decision-making in crucial moments is often questionable

Profiles written by Andrés Osorio Guillot





Germany

Jump to another team



Judging by last year’s Euros they should be one of the favourites but form has been patchy. Read the team guide here.

Star player
Alexandra Popp

Strengths

If Marina Hegering is fit the defence is top class and there is a real luxury problem up front with so many quality players available.

Weaknesses

There are injury worries in defence and they sometimes struggle to create chances despite dominating possession.





Morocco

Jump to another team



On a real high after reaching the Wafcon final for the first team and qualifying for their first World Cup. Read the team guide here.

Star player
Ghizlaine Chebbak

Strengths

The coach, Reynald Pedros, is a magnificent asset for this team. On the pitch, Fatima Tagnaout’s talent and captain Ghizlane Chebbak’s leadership are big plusses.

Weaknesses

The lack of experience at the top level is the main problem while the attack will have to be less profligate if they want to progress.





South Korea

Jump to another team



Reached the 2022 Asian Cup final and coach Colin Bell says they have improved since then. Read the team guide here.

Strengths

The key phrase for Bell is 'high intensity', which they have worked on since his appointment in 2019, and there are enough skilful players to open up opponent’s defences.

Weaknesses

Only a few players have experienced playing abroad and they are relying heavily – perhaps too heavily – on the former Chelsea midfielder Ji So-yun.

Profiles written by Rachel Hur

Read Entire Article