UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 began on July 6, with 16 teams fighting it out for continental dominance.
It coincides with the release of the latest FIFA world rankings, so teams can see just how they’re matching up to the best of the best at the moment.
Many of the world’s best female footballers will be strutting their stuff on English soil aiming to take their country to the final at Wembley and ultimately lift the trophy.
The Sporting News takes a look at the top 10 women’s national sides right now.
Who are the best women’s national teams?
The current top 10 of the FIFA world rankings includes the following teams:
1) USA: Reigning world champions, and the powerhouse of women’s international football. They seek to win their tenth CONCACAF Championship over the coming weeks, with both Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan named in Vlatko Andonovski’s squad.
2) Sweden: Sweden are the highest ranked European side going into the summer’s Euros. The most capped European player of all time Caroline Seger is in the squad, all set for her 13th international tournament. Champions in the first-ever edition of European international competition for women back in 1984, they have since finished as runners-up three times.
3) France: There’s always some backstage drama going on with France. This time round, coach Corinne Diacre has left out former skipper Amandine Henry, one of Lyon’s stars as they won the UEFA Women’s Champions League in May, and Eugenie Le Sommer.
4) Netherlands: Netherlands are in a transition period after losing head coach Sarina Wiegman to England. They still have lots of star quality in the form of Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema as they attempt to defend their EUROS crown this summer.
5) Germany: Germany have been the dominant force in European women’s football for 30 years, with an incredible six EUROS wins in a row up to 2013. Their midfield is weaker than usual as they chase a ninth crown, with Dzsenifer Marozsan out due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury, and Melanie Leupolz absent through pregnancy.
6) Canada: Canada are currently embroiled in a pay dispute with their federation – with their male counterparts refusing to play against Panama recently. One of the player demands is equal pay for the women’s team, which still features the record-breaking Christine Sinclair, whose goalscoring feats currently stand at 189 goals in 310 international matches.
7) Spain: The all-conquering Barcelona team make up the majority of this very strong Spain side. They have suffered a few blows ahead of the Euros, with top goalscorer Jenni Hermoso and star Alexia Putellas ruled out with knee injuries, and a quartet of players testing positive for Covid-19 before their warm-up friendlies. Off the field, they have just reached an agreement with their national federation that sees them get paid the same percentage as the men when it comes to bonuses and image rights.
8) England: Hosting a tournament is generally pretty favourable when it comes to the Women’s Euros: out of the previous 12 editions, the hosts have turned out to be the champions four times. This is Wiegman’s first tournament in charge of the Lionesses, and she also has a newbie skipper, Arsenal’s Leah Williamson.
9) Brazil: They go into next month’s Copa America as one of the favourites, having won it seven times before. They still boast one of the most iconic superstars of women’s football, the legendary Marta, now 36 but still her country’s captain, and still shining for Orlando Pride in the NWSL.
10) Korea DPR: It’s difficult to assess Korea DPR’s current form as they haven’t played a match in more than three years. They have withdrawn from fixtures due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with travel in and out of the country effectively banned; and back in 2020 they pulled out of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifiers that were hosted by South Korea.
What are the current women’s football world rankings?
10. Korea DPR
18. Korea Republic
22. New Zealand
25. Czech Republic
37. Costa Rica
40. Chinese Taipei
47. Northern Ireland
49. Papua New Guinea