The Women’s World Cup has been characterised by upsets and competitive underdogs. 75% of the 32 teams at this World Cup are competitive with the best team in the competition, an improvement from two-thirds in 2019, despite an expansion in the number of teams.
An increasingly global market for players is a key driver for this, and is critical to the development of world class women’s footballers. For example, Colombia’s two scorers against Germany both play in Spain’s Liga F, with Real Madrid’s Linda Caicedo rated as the 3rd-best U19 forward in the world in our Player Model.
National associations will need to carefully manage the pathways of their best young talent, balancing the benefits of best vs. best competition enabled by global markets with providing ample opportunities for young players to break through.