Ranked: Africa’s best female football players ahead of new season

Ranked: Africa’s best female football players ahead of new season
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Female football players in Africa have put the continent on the world map.

Over the years, female football in Africa got no respect for lack of quality, but it is safe to say – African football has arrived.

The just concluded FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand proved it, with three of its four representatives making it to the knockout stage.

Not only did they make it to the knockout rounds, their eventual crash from the competition showed the world they were no pushovers.

England will not forget the football lesson from the Super Falcons, nor will the Netherlands team see the Banyana Banyana as pushovers.

African female football players have shown the world they have the mettle to play with the best.

Ahead of the new season, who are the best African female football players to watch out for?

Africa's best female football players

Asisat Oshoala – Nigeria

Arguably the biggest name in African football currently. There are arguments for her as the best African female football player of all time. The FC Barcelona and Super Falcons forward has won the African Women’s Footballer of the Year award a record five times.

Asisat won the treble last season with FC Barcelona and has scored 83 goals in 89 appearances for the club.

Ghizlane Chebbak – Morocco

The MVP for the last African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) performed well at the just concluded World Cup.

She does not ply her trade in Europe but has proven that African leagues are top-notch. Staring for AS FAR in Morocco, she has won the Women’s Championship ten times.

Ajara Nchout Njoya – Cameroon

Cameroon did not make it to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, but if there is one player from that side to keep an eye on this season, it is Ajara Njoya.

The 30-year-old is a forward for Serie A side Inter Milan. She goes into her second season with the Italian side on the back of ten goals from 39 appearances last campaign.

Tabitha Chawinga – Malawi

female football players
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Chawinga is a female football player that plays for Serie A side Inter Milan. She’s with the Italian side on loan from Chinese side Wuhan Jianghan University FC.

The 27-year-old scored 16 goals in 15 appearances for Inter Milan last season. Many expect her to perform the same feat this term. She was the top scorer in the 2022/23 Serie A Femminile season.

Rasheedat Ajibade – Nigeria

Rasheedat has pace and is skilful on the ball. Perhaps these are the qualities that have endeared her to many. It is why she is a nightmare to defenders.

She plays as a striker for Spanish Liga F side Atlético Madrid. Rash was on the top scorers list at the last AWCON and helped Nigeria to the knockout stage at the 2023 World Cup.

Since signing for the Spanish side, she has made four appearances and scored 16 goals.

Thembi Kgatlana – South Africa

Kgatlana has pace and plenty of trickery. She was instrumental in South Africa winning its first AWCON title in 2023. She also scored the winning goal as South Africa beat Italy 3-2 to qualify for the Round of 16 at the World Cup.

She plays for the Racing Louisville football club in Kentucky.

Barbra Banda – Zambia

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The 23-year-old Zambian forward Banda has grown in leaps and bounds. She is one of the reasons Zambia has emerged on the female football map.

She is one African female football player that defenders should keep in their sights.

She plays for the Chinese club Shanghai Shengli. She is Africa’s all-time top scorer at the Olympics. She became the first female football player to score back-to-back hat tricks in one tournament.

In 2020, she also emerged as the top scorer in the Chinese Women’s Super League.

Racheal Kundananji (Zambia)

Kundananji plays for Madrid CFF and operates as a forward and a midfielder. Her ability to function in multiple roles makes her a danger to defenders. Since 2022, she has scored 25 goals for her club.

Linda Motlhalo (South Africa)

Motlhalo is another female football player to watch this season. The 25-year-old winger plays for Scottish Women’s Premier League side Glasgow City FC. She joined the Scottish side in January 2023 and scored three goals from 16 appearances to help them lift the Scottish Women’s Premier League.

She was part of the Banyana Banyana side that won the 2022 AWCON in Morocco.

Other female football players to watch out for are Hilda Magaia (South Africa), Ibtissam Jraidi (Morocco) and Anissa Lahmari (Morocco). They have all been instrumental to the success of their teams.

Chiamaka Nnadozie – Nigeria

female football players Chiamaka nnadozie
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It is not so often you find a goalkeeper to make a top player list, but that is what Chiamaka Nnadozie has done. She is arguably the best goalkeeper on the African continent and one of the best in the world.

At the World Cup in France (2019), Nnadozie was the youngest goalkeeper and has become a massive asset for the Super Falcons. In four matches at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, She kept a clean sheet in three, conceding only two goals against the hosts Australia.

She plays for French Division 1 Feminine side Paris FC.

This article was most recently revised and updated 8 months ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter.