• England’s Lionesses are among the world’s elite 

  • Internationally, the USWNT are still the side to beat 

  • Lyons are officially the best club side in world football but only for now

At club level and internationally these teams continue to take the fastest growing sport in the world to new heights, pushing the boundaries and winning silverware by the plentiful.

Best Women’s International Soccer Teams

10) Spain

Benefiting hugely by having the nucleus of Barcelona’s all-conquering dream-team the Spanish national side swept the board at last year’s UEFA Awards, winning best goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, forward, and player.

It was the first time a single country won all categories.

Between September 2020 and September 2021, La Roja didn’t concede a single goal in 12 competitive fixtures and when the FIFA rankings catches up we can expect their ratings to imminently soar.

9) Korea DPR

The most successful women’s football nation at youth level and in possession of the largest stadium on the planet, things should be decidedly rosy right now for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Alas, the geopolitical situation remains complicated, and their future is unclear with no competitions participated in now since early 2019.

Still, they manage to keep their top ten spot in absentia which is testimony to their ability.

8) England

The Lionesses boast a consistently impressive record in international tournaments, winning the SheBelieves Cup in 2019 and reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup that same year.

Under the stewardship of new gaffer Serina Wiegman a new dawn approaches and it will be key that the former Netherlands coach successfully manages to blend experience in the form of Steph Houghton and Jill Scott with an emerging youth.

7) Brazil

The Canarinhas have gained an unwelcome reputation for being nearly women in recent years, so often encountering misfortune at World Cups and winning the less desirable metals at the Olympics.


Yet they still possess Marta, arguably the most famous female footballer in the world, while the online betting community are always keen to point out that it’s folly to back against them. 

6) Canada

The Olympic champions have their stars spread far and wide, from Lyon to Manchester City to Portland Thorns, but it would remiss not to highlight one of their brilliant mainstays.

Captain Christine Sinclair is 38 now and surely retirement looms for a striker who has won 304 caps and scored in five different World Cups. They will miss her dreadfully.

5) France

It’s rare to find lengthy odds in the live betting markets when it concerns France. That’s because in Marie-Antoinette Katoto, Les Bleues have one of the deadliest finishers around who can change a game in an instant.

The PSG forward has already notched 15 in 19 appearances for her country at the young age of 22.

She is only going to get better and so are France who can always be found at the business end of tournaments.

4) Holland

Oranje remain a technically skilled and eminently watchable outfit and that hasn’t changed even if results have gone against them on the biggest stages in recent years.

For that reason alone, they have drifted out from third to fourth in the rankings.

With the formidable partnership of Lieke Martens and Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema up front the Netherlands are an offensive threat and a decent showing at the Olympics is further proof that Mark Parsons’ side isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

3) Germany

The two-time World Champions have barely a handful of their squad plying their trade overseas which illustrates the strength of the Frauen-Bundesliga.

It is their international exploits however that has really elevated the profile of the sport, courtesy of German legend Birgit Prinz and in recent times Alexandra Popp, the latter taking on the mantel of national heroine.

2) Sweden

Unbeaten in 2021, the Blågult continue to build on their World Cup semi-final placing in 2019, blazing a trail at the Olympics before losing in the final on penalties.

Peter Gerhardsson’s side can count themselves unlucky not to grab gold, committing 30 shots on Canada’s goal to no avail but with outstanding talents such as Stina Blackstenius in their ranks their future is bright.

1) USA

The USWNT has long been the dominant force in women’s football, winning four Olympic gold medals and more World Cups than any other nation.

Among their notable talents are some of the highest paid female footballers in the world with Alex Morgan, Maghan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd household names either side of the Atlantic.

They’re the best and – whether you believe this to be a good thing or a negative – they know they’re the best.

Best Women’s Club Teams

10) FC Rosengard

Having recently celebrated their 50th year of existence, the Malmo club have qualified for the Champions League each year since 2012, which partly explains their high coefficient.

Currently on course to winning their seventh Damallsvenskan title in 11 years, they are bolstered in midfield by Swedish skipper Caroline Seger and with the national team flying right now, expect the nation’s leading club side to follow in their slipstream.

9) Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid Femenino last won Primera Liga in 2019 and though Champions League appearances are scant they are unquestionably an emerging prospect on the continental stage.

A raft of exciting signings, including Nigerian midfielder Rasheedat Ajibade promise much and if everything clicks they can certainly expect ferocious support.

Two years ago, over 60,000 Madridistas turned up for a league game against Barcelona.

8) Slavia Prague

Having won the Czech league on seven occasions, Slavia’s continued development now rests on advancement in the Champions League, a competition they so often come unstuck in during the knockout stages.

Having finally played their way out of the shadow of Sparta, their city rival and long-time superior, it is a challenge they won’t shy from.

7) Manchester City

Like with their men’s equivalent, a Champions League still eludes the Citizens while there have been significantly fewer football bets backing them to win a second WSL title after an injury-ravaged season has left them surely out of the reckoning.

Still, overall, it’s been a prosperous seven years to date for City, finishing in the top two for five years running and accruing a star-studded squad that includes England regulars Steph Houghton, Lucy Bronze and Ellen White.

6) Paris Saint Germain

Founded in 1971, PSG Feminine have been at the forefront of the game throughout its duration and growth, but of course major investment into the club from Qatar has propelled them into another stratosphere altogether in recent years.

Even so, their vast resources are not enough to match Lyon domestically though any encounters with them in the Champions League are usually box-office.

5) Chelsea

Under Emma Hayes, the Blues have proven far too strong for their English peers, winning consecutive titles of late. Indeed, in 2021 a historic quadruple looked on, until a rampant Barcelona were encountered in the final.

Tactically adroit and always on the front foot, it would be a shrewd football prediction to back Chelsea to make it three in a row domestically, especially with Aussie superstar Sam Kerr in splendid form and Pernille Harder a constant threat in front of goal.

4) Bayern Munich

After a five-year absence, the Bundesliga crown returned to Bavaria in 2020/21 though a heavy loss to Chelsea in their Champions League semi-final ultimately defined their season.

That should not overly hinder Bayern however, not with a squad packed full of internationals including Klara Buhl who is destined to be a star for years to come. The swagger is back at the Bayern Campus. Others beware.

3) Wolfsburg

In the last decade Die Wölfinnen have dominated German football with six league titles definitive proof of that. Reaching five Champions League finals meanwhile – triumphing in two of them – has them pegged as a genuine European giant.

A lethal front partnership of Polish striker Ewa Pajor and Alexandra Popp routinely terrorise the great and the good but it’s from the increasingly impressive performances of youngsters of Lena Oberdorf and Lena Lattwein where the most encouragement can be found.

They are the future of Wolfsburg and Germany.

2) Barcelona

The present-day Barca have drawn direct comparisons with Pep Guardiola’s extraordinary creation that changed football for the better.

In possession, Jonatan Giraldez’s side are fluid and forever probing. Without the ball they press relentlessly.

If their first Champions League success in 2020 was a statement of potential greatness the manner in which they decimated all-comers in the league took the breath away with a record 99 points attained.

1) Lyon

Olympique Lyonnais staggeringly won D1 Feminine for 14 years in succession – their record broken last term by PSG - and have lifted the Champions League on six occasions.

They are, beyond all doubt, the most successful club side in women’s football and with a sublime spine featuring Wendie Renard, Amandine Henry and the eternally prolific Ada Hegerberg it’s hard to imagine their stranglehold ending anytime soon.

Barcelona however, may have something to say about that.

Stephen Tudor is a freelance football writer and sports enthusiast who only knows slightly less about the beautiful game than you do.

A contributor to FourFourTwo and Forbes, he is a Manchester City fan who was taken to Maine Road as a child because his grandad predicted they would one day be good.