HOUSTON — FIFPro, the world union of soccer players, has revealed its first Women’s World XI to SI.com, and it’s a welcome step in the growth of women’s soccer around the world. FIFPro has released a men’s World XI since 2005, and this women’s list includes votes from women’s players of 33 different nationalities.
Players were asked to pick one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards.
Here is the FIFPro Women’s World XI for 2015:
Goalkeeper: Hope Solo (USA, Seattle Reign)
Defenders: Kadeisha Buchanan (Canada, West Virginia University), Wendie Renard (France, Lyon), Julie Johnston (USA, Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (USA, Portland Thorns).
Midfielders: Amandine Henry (France, Lyon), Carli Lloyd (USA, Houston Dash), Aya Miyama (Japan, Okayama Yunogo Belle).
Forwards: Anja Mittag (Germany, PSG), Eugénie Le Sommer (France, Lyon), Celia Sasic (Germany, Frankfurt).
It’s a good list overall, though there is one prominent snub: defender Becky Sauerbrunn of the United States.
One can only hope that FIFA follows suit by inviting the women’s XI to next year’s Ballon d’Or gala the same way it invites the FIFPro men’s XI to the event every year.
Here are some of the responses that top players gave to FIFPro about the advent of a Women’s World XI:
Carli Lloyd: “It’s an honor to be selected by the players. This is a great step forward in terms of equality, respect and recognition for women’s soccer.”
Anja Mittag: “I’m very happy to be on the team, especially knowing that it’s the players who voted. It’s really great to know that from this moment on we’ll have our own World XI.”
Eugénie Le Sommer: “I’m very proud to be on the FIFPro team. It’s an honor for me to be among the biggest players.”