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Leading coaches, former players and journalists from the women’s game are among the 86 judges for this year’s list, compiled in association with The Offside Rule Podcast
As we prepare to unveil our fourth edition of the best 100 female footballers in the world we can reveal the judges who took part in this year’s jury. As always we turned to some of the most respected and influential women and men in the game, including the US and Scotland women’s national head coaches Vlatko Andonovski and Pedro Martínez Losa.
In addition, journalists, broadcasters and coaches such as the Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall, Real Sociedad’s Natalia Arroyo and the Brazil national team assistant head coach, Lilie Persson, also contributed.
Their votes have been counted to see whether Pernille Harder can hold on to her crown or whether we will have a new Guardian best female footballer in the world.
The countdown begins on Tuesday 7 December with Nos 100-71. On Wednesday we will reveal Nos 70-41, on Thursday Nos 40-11 before the top 10 on Friday completes this year’s list.
The Top 100 rules are explained beneath the judges, who are listed in alphabetical order by category.
Arianna Criscione Former Italy international; former goalkeeper for FC Twente and PSG
Sarah Gregorius Former New Zealand international with 100 caps; won the FA WSL with Liverpool in 2013
Zsanett Jakabfi Former Hungary international; won six Bundesliga titles and two Champions League titles with Wolfsburg
Rebecca Moros Former NWSL player and USA Under-21 international; current University of Arizona head coach
Leonne Stentler Former Netherlands international with 13 caps; won the Eredivisie with ADO Den Haag in 2012
Laëtitia Tonazzi Former France international with 66 caps; scored 145 goals in 181 appearances for Juvisy; also played for Lyon and Montpellier
Juan Carlos Amorós Real Betis manager
Vlatko Andonovski USA national team head coach
Natalia Arroyo Real Sociedad manager
Karina Báez UNAM manager
Elisabetta Bavagnoli AS Roma head of women’s football
Colin Bell South Korea national team head coach
Kim Björkegren Apollon Limassol manager
Shilene Booysen South Sudan national team head coach
Mariana Cabral Sporting Lisbon manager
Tamara Cassimon Belgium national team assistant head coach
Catherine Cannuli Western Sydney Wanderers manager
James Clarkson Houston Dash manager
Lisa Cole Antigua & Barbuda national team head coach
Lluis Cortés Ukraine national team head coach; Former FC Barcelona manager
Pamela Conti Venezuela national team head coach
Thomas Dennerby India national team head coach
Jonas Eidevall Arsenal manager
Desiree Ellis South Africa national team head coach
Samuel Fagerholm Umeå IK manager
Mark Gatt Malta national team head coach
Mats Gren Former BK Häcken manager
Inka Grings FC Zürich manager
Rita Guarino Inter Milan manager
Laura Harvey OL Reign manager
Nora Häuptle Israel national team head coach
Jonne Kunnas HJK Helsinki manager
Dimtiri Lipoff Wuhan Jiangda assistant manager
Pedro Losa Scotland national team head coach
Jasmine Mander Canada national youth team coach
Joe Montemurro Juventus manager
Nina Patalon Poland national team head coach
Robert de Pauw FC Twente manager
Lilie Persson Brazil national team assistant head coach
Nacho Quintana Panama national team head coach
Pedro Lopez Ramos Spain under 19s head coach
Jens Scheuer FC Bayern Munich manager
Éric Sévérac Servette manager
Anna Signeul Finland national team head coach
Tatiele Silveira Santos manager
Caroline Sjöblom Sweden under 19s head coach
Martin Sjögren Norway national team head coach
Renee Slégers FC Rosengård manager
Lars Søndegaard Denmark national team head coach
Tommy Stroot Wolfsburg manager
André Vale Benfica coaching staff member
Carlos Veliz Universidad de Chile manager
Elisabetta Vignotto Sassuolo manager
Randy Waldrum Nigeria national team head coach
Nicola Williams Lazio assistant manager
Chan Yuen Ting China youth team coach
Juliana Arreguy Women’s football writer in Brazil for UOL
Romain Balland Women’s football broadcaster in France
Javiera Court Arrau Women’s football writer in Chile
Syanie Dalmat Women’s football writer in France for L’Equipe
Seraina Degen Women’s football writer in Switzerland for SRF Sport
Cheryl Downes Women’s football writer in Australia
Mia Eriksson Women’s football writer in Sweden
Maria Fernandes Mora Women’s football broadcaster in Mexico for FOX Sports
Melina Gaspar Women’s football writer in Argentina
Ellen Hanisch Women’s football writer in Germany
Alex Ibaceta Women’s football writer in the UK
Harjeet Johal Women’s football writer in Canada
Rich Laverty Women’s football writer in the UK; creator of the Top 100
Sophie Lawson Women’s football writer in the UK
Samantha Lewis Women’s football writer in Australia for ABC Sport
Gianluca Lia Women’s football writer in Malta for the Times of Malta
Antonio Loma-Osorio Women’s football writer in Chile
David Menayo Women’s football writer in Spain for MARCA
Sofie Munch Women’s football writer in Denmark
Pamela Del Olmo Women’s football writer in Mexico
Charles Olney Women’s football writer in the USA
Christina Paulos Women’s football broadcaster in Norway for TV2 Sport
Sandra Prusina Women’s football broadcaster in Canada
Chantal Reyes Women’s football writer in Spain
Alicia Soares Women’s football writer in Brazil
Adriana Terrazas Women’s football writer in Mexico for TUDN
Hania Urbaniak Women’s football writer in Poland
Rivkah op het Veld Women’s football writer in the Netherlands at NOS Sport
Julia Wanjeri Women’s football writer in Africa; creator of JWSports
Suzanne Wrack Women’s football writer in the UK for the Guardian
How they made their choices
• Our judges were sent a longlist of footballers drawn from leagues on every continent and asked one question: who have been the best female players in the world in 2021?
• We asked our judges to choose 40 names each, and rank their selection in order from 1-40, No 1 being their choice of the best player this year.
How the voting works
• The No 1 choice of each judge was awarded 40pts, No 2 given 39pts, down to 1pt for their No 40 choice. All the votes were added together to give a raw score.
• To minimise the influence of outliers, the highest score awarded to a player was then deducted to give a final score.
• A player needed to receive votes from at least five judges to qualify.
• If players are level on points in the scoring, the number of individual votes cast is used as a tie-breaker.
• We are very grateful to our judges for taking part, and none have been paid for participating.
• To allow our judges the freedom to express their opinions without fear or favour, individual voting records are anonymised.