Female Soccer Players in Africa: Top 5

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Female soccer players in Africa have achieved outstanding feats amid systematic administrative problems. The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia & New Zealand demonstrated that. All African representatives but Morocco were in a tiff with their federations. 

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Nonetheless, three of them – Nigeria, South Africa and Morocco made history by qualifying for the round of 16. This shows the talent and dedication the continent has. Some of the players play for European and American clubs. Who are the best female soccer players in Africa? 

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Asisat Oshoala – Nigeria

Asisat came in as a substitute throughout the World Cup in Australia & New Zealand, but her place in African women’s football history is sealed. She’s the continent’s most successful female soccer player, having played for notable clubs like Arsenal Women, Liverpool Women and Barcelona Femeni

Additionally, Oshoala has won major trophies:

  • The Women’s Africa Cup of Nations three times
  • The CAF Africa Women’s Player of the Year a record five times
  • The only African player to win the BBC Africa Women’s Footballer of the Year
  • The UEFA Women’s Champions League twice
  • The Primera Division 
  • Copa de la Reina
  • Supercopa de Espana Femenina

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Tabitha Chawinga – Malawi

The Malawian is one of the best female soccer players in Africa. Unfortunately, she rarely gets the recognition she deserves, partly because of the league she plays in. Also, Malawi is yet to qualify for a major international tournament that’ll lift her profile. 

Tabitha Chawinga is on loan at Italian club Inter Milan from her parent club, Wuhan Jianghan University. Her first senior club was the Swedish club Krokom/Dvärsätts IF. She’s also played for Kvarnsvedens IK and Jiangsu Suning. Similarly, she’s been influential in her team’s winning the league. She’s won:

  • Chinese Women’s Super League
  • Chinese Women’s FA Cup
  • Chinese Women’s FA Tournament
  • Chinese Women’s Super Cup

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Barbara Banda – Zambia

The Zambian is one of the rising stars of the game. She’s been grabbing headlines since she was part of the Zambia junior women’s team that made history by qualifying for the country’s first-ever international tournament in 2012. 

Banda’s lived up to the expectation, having captained the Copper Queens to the Olympics in 2021 and the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia & New Zealand.

She plays her club football in the Chinese Women’s Super League for Shanghai Shengli. Although she’s yet to win any major titles, Banda’s goalscoring prowess catapulted her to the limelight. In her first season in China, she scored 18 goals in 13 games and won the Golden Boot. 

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Thembi Kgatlana – South Africa

Thembi Kgatlana broke into the scene during the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations. She bamboozled defenders with her pace and trickery and was the best player in the tournament. 

The forward scored the tournament’s goal and won the Golden Boot. Kgatlana won the CAF Player of the Year ahead of Asisat Oshoala, who won the award in 2016 and 2017.   

The player is now one of the most recognisable female soccer players in Africa. She was influential in Banyana Banyana’s historic campaign at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019 and 2023. She scored the team’s first goal in the tournament against Spain in France. In Australia, she netted the goal that sent South Africa to the round of 16.

Kgatlana plays her club football at the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) club Racing Louisville. She’s previously played for Atletico Madrid, Eibar Women, Benfica and Houston Dash, among other teams. 

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Ajara Njoya Nchout – Cameroon

Cameroon might not have qualified for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Nonetheless, anyone who’s watched Ajara Nchout knows how good she is. 

In France’s 2019 World Cup, she scored one of the tournament’s best goals against New Zealand to make it to the group stage. Her goal was nominated for the FIFA Puskas Award 2019

Nchout has played for Atletico Madrid, Valeranga, Western New York Flash and currently plays for Inter Milan.  

We have so many players who’d fit in the list. Notable mentions go to Linda Motlahlo (South Africa), Hilda Magaia (South Africa), Rasheedat Adjibade (Nigeria), and Ghizlane Cheebak (Morocco). This shows that women’s football in Africa is on the rise. 

You can also learn more about the history of women’s football by grabbing one of these books on Amazon.

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