As the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand draws to a close, one of the big questions is who will win the Golden Ball, which is awarded to the best player.
According to FIFA on Monday, the Golden Ball has been awarded to the winner or runner-up of every Women’s World Cup.
At the inaugural tournament in China in 1991, the winner, the United States of America’s Caryn Jennings, became the first recipient of the Golden Ball. Jennings, a star of the 1980s and 1990s who laid the foundation for the development of women’s soccer, scored six goals in that tournament. Jennings scored a hat trick in the semifinals against Germany.
At the 1995 tournament in Sweden, Hege Lise won the Golden Ball after leading Norway to victory. Lise scored a spectacular goal against Germany in the tournament final.
In 1999, the Golden Ball was awarded to Sun Wen, who led China to a runner-up finish in the United States. Sun Wen led China to the final and still holds the Chinese A-match record for most goals scored (106).
In 2003, Birgit Prinz won the Golden Ball for Germany in the United States. The center forward scored a goal in five consecutive games to lead Germany to the final.
At the 2007 tournament in China, the honor went to runner-up Brazil. Marta’s stellar play took Brazil to the final, but they lost the title to Germany.
At the 2011 tournament in Germany, Homare Sawa of Japan, the winner, was honored. Sawa scored five goals and won both the Golden Ball and Golden Boot. Sawa was highlighted by a hat trick against Mexico and a dramatic game-winning goal just before the end of overtime in the final against the United States.
At the 2015 tournament in Canada, Carli Lloyd took home the Golden Ball after leading the United States to victory. Carli Lloyd became the first player in Women’s World Cup history to score a hat trick in the final. 먹튀검증
At the 2019 tournament in France, Megan Rapinoe lifted the Golden Ball for the winners, the United States. Rapinoe scored six goals and emerged as the tournament’s biggest star.
This time around, England and Spain are the favorites to win the Golden Ball.
England was led by Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo with three goals apiece. Lauren James had a great tournament with three goals and three assists, but a direct red card against Nigeria in the round of 16 put her team in trouble. However, she could be a surprise Golden Ball winner if she has a big game in the final.