2023 World Cup Hero 

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Mary Earps (England)

Earps was outstanding as England reached the World Cup final, where she saved a penalty from Jenni Hermoso before the Lionesses succumbed to a 1-0 defeat against eventual champions Spain. Earps, however, won the Golden Glove at the tournament, and her passion and energy from between the sticks, as well as a series of vital saves, helped drive England forward, including a penalty shoot-out win over Nigeria.

Amanda Illestedt (Sweden)

Illestedt was statistically one of the best defenders at the World Cup for interventions in her own third, and this was reflected by Sweden only conceding four goals in their seven matches en-route to a third place finish. Remarkably, the centre-back also scored four goals in the tournament, only one behind eventual Golden Boot winner Hinata Miyazawa.

Aitana Bonmati (Spain)

Bonmati was named Player of the Tournament after Spain lifted the World Cup, defeating England in the final. Universally spoken about as the best player in the world, Bonmati was the eye-catching midfield dictator who controlled the engine room, while also contributing three goals of her own, as Spain triumphed.

Linda Caicedo (Colombia)

The teenager scored twice during the group stages to fire Colombia into the knockout round, where they eventually lost to England. This proved to be Colombia’s best ever performance at a World Cup finals, with Caicedo playing a major part in their journey. Caicedo overcame ovarian cancer after being diagnosed aged 14 and is expected to be a key player for both Real Madrid and Colombia in coming seasons.

Lauren Hemp (England)

Hemp was a consistent source of inspiration for England throughout the World Cup, culminating in a match-winning performance against Australia in the semi-final. The Manchester City forward scored and assisted as England secured their place in the final, where they eventually lost out to Spain. She also bagged an important goal in the Round of 16 win over Colombia.

Olga Carmona (Spain)

Carmona enjoyed a stunning World Cup redemption after being dropped following the 4-0 group stage defeat to Japan. After scoring a sensational late winner in the semi-final, Carmona fired home the winner against England in the final. The Real Madrid left-back, at only 23, ensured her name will forever be remembered.

Jill Roord (Netherlands)

Roord, 26, scored four goals for Netherlands at the World Cup as the Oranje reached the quarter-final. The midfielder, who represents Manchester City at club level, bagged two in the demolition of Vietnam as she caught the eye from attacking midfield with an elite technique.

Millie Bright (England)

Bright captained England to the World Cup final following injury to regular skipper Leah Williamson ahead of the tournament. She was part of a defence which conceded only four goals and her passionate leadership in several tight matches – including knockout games against Colombia and Australia – helped Sarina Wiegman’s side to the final.

Steph Catley (Australia)

Catley enjoyed an immense World Cup with Australia, scoring the winning goal in the opening game against Ireland from the penalty spot. The defender was handed the captain’s armband following an injury to Sam Kerr early in the tournament as she led her country to the semi-final.

Yui Hasegawa (Japan)

Hasegawa was a leading light for Japan at the tournament, controlling games from midfield. She helped Japan reach the quarter-finals after catching the eye in a dominant victory over Norway in the Round of 16.