Top 10 Best Women Soccer Players In Africa (2023)

Thembi Kgatlana best women's soccer players in Africa PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Thembi Kgatlana of South Africa during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France group B match between South Africa and China PR at Parc des Princes on June 13, 2019 in Paris, France.
(Photo by Molly Darlington – AMA/Getty Images)

Women’s soccer in Africa has come a long way since 1991, as the continent has continued to improve and produce world-class talents in women’s football.

Gone are the days when Nigeria solely dominated the African Women’s Cup of Nations as other countries have started living up to the billing and contesting with the West African giants.

Also, Nigerian players are not the only ones who are now revered when it comes to women’s soccer in Africa, as South Africans, Zambians, and even North Africans, Morocco, have been producing female football talents.

This season Tabitha Chawinga, a Malawian, is the top scorer in the Italian women’s Serie  A, while Ghizlane Chebbak won the MVP of the last African women’s Cup of Nations, which was won by South Africa.

Many remember Cynthia Uwak, Perpetual Nkwocha, and many other stars who came from Nigeria.

However, this generation, Nigeria’s biggest women’s soccer export Asisat Oshoala has been rivalled by a couple of players in the last five years, including Gaëlle Enganamouit, Ajara Nchout, Thembi Kgatlana, and many more.

In this article, we will take a look at the top 10 best women’s soccer players in Africa in 2023 as we move closer to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

1. Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria)

Asisat Oshoala best strikers in women's football
(Photo by Noelia Deniz/Urbanandsport/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Undisputed best-ever women’s soccer player to have ever come out of Africa, current African Women’s Player of the Year holder, five times winner of the award, and a multiple laurel winner.

Two Women’s UEFA Champions League winners with Barcelona, three La Liga Femina winners, titles in England and China, plus three AWCON titles with Nigeria.

She scored five goals in nine UCL games and 21 goals in 29 La Liga fixtures as Barcelona won the two this season.

The 28-year-old is regarded as one of the best strikers in women’s football.

Asisat Oshoala is known for her pace, agility, and technical ability on the ball. She is a versatile player who can play in multiple positions, but she is most effective as a striker due to her ability to score goals. Oshoala is a clinical finisher who can score with both feet and her head.

2. Tabitha Chawinga – (Malawi)

Tabitha Chawinga VINOVO, ITALY - MARCH 11: Tabitha Chawinga of Internazionale during the Women's Coppa Italia Semi Final 2nd Leg match between Juventus and FC Internazionale at Juventus Center Vinovo on March 11, 2023 in Vinovo, Italy.
(Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images)

23 goals and seven assists in 23 matches in the Serie A for Inter Milan, the Malawian footballer made her shout for the CAF Women’s Players of the Year award credible.

Chawinga finished as top scorer in the 2022/23 Serie A Femminile season.

Asides from her efforts in Italy this season, she was previously the Chinese Women’s Super League Top scorer in 2018, 2019, and 2021 and Chinese Women’s Super League Player of the Year in 2018, 2019.

She has been described as a fast and skillful centre-forward with excellent ball control and a deadly finish in front of goal.

3. Ghizlane Chebbak – (Morocco)

Ghizlane Chebbak best women's soccer players in Africa Morocco's forward Ghizlane Chebbak runs with the ball during the 2022 Women's Africa Cup of Nations semi-final football match between Morocco and Nigeria at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat on July 18, 2022
(Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

Chebbak is one the players who made the Moroccan women’s national team tick as they emerged in second place at the last AWCON, helping them secure a World Cup spot and securing the tournament player of the year award and top scorers gong.

She plays in the Moroccan women’s league with AS FAR winning the Moroccan Women’s Championship 10 times in 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023.

She is a nine-time Moroccan Women’s Throne Cup winner and CAF Women’s Champions League winner in 2022.

4. Ajara Njoya Nchout – (Cameroon)

Ajara Njoya Nchout best African women's soccer players 2023
(Photo by Hugo Pfeiffer/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Ajara Nchout remains one of the top players of her generation after her breathtaking goal at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France against New Zealand.

Beyond that, she’s a two-time African Women’s Player of the Year finalist in 2019 and 2022. She continues to be a cogent part of Cameroon’s team that finished in the AWCON final three times.

5. Rasheedat Ajibade – (Nigeria)

Rasheedat Ajibade VICTORIA, BC - APRIL 11: Rasheedat Ajibade #15 of Nigeria looks on against Canada during a Celebration tour friendly match at Starlight Stadium on April 11, 2022 in Langford, British Columbia, Canada.
(Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)

Nigerian forward Rasheedat Ajibade was seen as a replica of Asisat Oshoala but of lower quality.

Ajibade started as a freestyler but was quickly integrated into the youth teams of the Nigerian women’s team.

She grew and quickly secured moves abroad and now plays with the Atletico Madrid women’s team.

She’s known for her pace and skills on the ball. While she’s not come close to winning the Player of the Year Award, she’s matured in her productivity, helping Nigeria qualify for the 2023 Women’s World Cup as one of the top scorers.

6. Thembi Kgatlana – (South African)

Thembi Kgatlana best women's soccer players in Africa PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Thembi Kgatlana of South Africa during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France group B match between South Africa and China PR at Parc des Princes on June 13, 2019 in Paris, France.
(Photo by Molly Darlington – AMA/Getty Images)

The year is 2018, and Thembi Kgatlana is having her best year destroying the AWCON defenders with her pace and trickery.

South Africa didn’t win that competition, but Kgatlana rubbed shoulders with Oshoala winning the CAF Africa Women Cup of Nations Best Player: 2018, CAF Africa Women Cup of Nations Top Scorer: 2018, and the CAF African Women’s Footballer of the Year 2019.

Kgatlana helped South Africa secure a place at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and their first-ever AWCON title last year in Morocco.

7. Barbra Banda – ( Zambia)

Barbra Banda best female African football players
(Photo by Pablo Morano/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

Barbra Banda holds one of the unique records any African women’s soccer player has ever held.

She scored two consecutive hattricks in the Olympics women’s game at the 2020 Olympics in Zambia’s 10-3 loss to the Netherlands.

The second is the second in a 4-4 draw with China in the same competition.

Although due to her testosterone level, which is higher than that accepted by CAF standards, she wasn’t permitted by CAF to play at the CAF AWCON.

8. Racheal Kundananji – (Zambia)

Racheal Kundananji best female soccer players in Africa
(Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Racheal Kundananji is one of the Zambian stars that helped the country to its debut at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

She plays for Spanish Liga F club Madrid CFF scored an impressive 25 goals in 29 matches in the Spanish Primera Division in the 2022/2023 season.

The 23-year-old still has enough time to grow into the status of the likes of Barbra Banda, Thembi Kgatlana, and so on.

9. Chiamaka Nnadozie – (Nigeria)

Chiamaka Nnadozie best african female football Players KANSAS CITY, KS - SEPTEMBER 3: Chiamaka Nnadozie #16 of Nigeria during a game between Nigeria and USWNT at Children's Mercy Park on September 3, 2022 in Kansas City, Kansas.
(Photo by Bill Barrett/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Chiamaka Nnadozie remains the best goalkeeper from the African continent at the moment.

The Paris FC goalkeeper, is regarded as a top prospect for African Player of the Year if she continues in the trajectory that she is in at the moment.

Nnadozie is considered by many to be among the best goalkeepers in female football at the moment.

She became a sensation at the last FIFA Women’s World Cup in France in 2019, where she kept the hosts at bay for over 80 minutes in Nigeria’s opener.

She continued in that manner at the last AWCON showing fantastic goalkeeping skills.

10. Linda Motlhalo – (South Africa)

Linda Motlhalo
(Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Linda Mothlalo is tagged the South African Ronaldinho, and she has managed to live up to that name as one of South Africa’s most skillful women.

She was instrumental in breaking Nigeria’s dominance on the Banyana Banyana.

Mothlalo has 56 caps for South Africa and has scored sixteen times. She currently plays for the Scottish women’s club side Glasgow City after joining from Djurgaden.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Here are some of the top African female soccer players who deserve a notable mention:

  • Fatima Tagnaout – Morocco
  • Hildah Magaia – South Africa
  • Desire Oparanozie – Nigeria
  • Andile Dlamini – South Africa
  • Rosella Ayane – Morocco
  • Grace Chanda – Zambia
  • Michelle Alozie – Nigeria
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