Malawi women’s football icon Tabitha Chawinga has been nominated for the 11 most outstanding players in the world for 2020.
Chawinga is the first African player to appear on the list of 55 players for the Fifa’s World following her exploits at her Chinese Women’s Super League outfit Jiangsu Suning.
Fifa and Fifpro, an association which represents professional footballers, yesterday released the list.
The world football governing body is next week expected to release the best 11 from the 55 players, according to a statement.
Reads the statement in part: “Fifa invited all professional footballers worldwide to vote for the World 11. We asked them to pick the most outstanding players in the following lines: goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards.
“The goalkeeper, as well as the three defenders, three midfielders and three forwards who received the most votes will be selected for the World 11. The remaining spot in the World 11 will be assigned to the outfield player with the next highest number of votes.”
Chawinga will battle it out for a spot in the World 11 against top strikers Kosovare Asllani (Real Madrid, Sweden), Stina Blackstenius (Goteborg, Sweden), Cristiane (Santos, Brazil), Bethany England (Chelsea, England), Pernille Harder (Chelsea, Denmark), Tobin Heath (Manchester United, USA), Ada Hegerberg (Olympique Lyonnais, Norway), Jennifer Hermoso (FC Barcelona, Spain), Samantha Kerr (Chelsea, Australia), Eugenie Le Sommer (Olympique Lyonnais, France), Lieke Martens (FC Barcelona, The Netherlands), Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal, The Netherlands), Christen Press (Manchester United, USA) and Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign, USA).
Soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda said although it will be tough to make it into the last 11, the nomination alone proves that Chawinga is a star.
He said: “It’s not easy to make into the last 11. But her nomination is a big achievement. Actually, she is the first African to make the list. That’s no mean achievement.”
Last year’s Fifa Fifpro Women’s World 11 comprised Sari van Veenendaal, Lucy Bronze, Nilla Fischer, Kelley O’Hara, Wendie Renard, Julie Ertz, Amandine Henry, Rose Lavelle, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Marta Vieira.