Your FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Starter Pack
The FIFA Women’s World Cup – AKA, the biggest women’s football tournament ever – kicks off today across Australia and New Zealand. Even if you’re not into football, this tournament is undoubtedly, in the words of one of the game’s biggest stars, USA player Megan Rapinoe, a “massive cultural moment” that is worth a follow, swipe and scroll. Our FOMO-banishing guide, created with pointers from football content creator Nancy Baker and The Guardian football writer and author Suzy Wrack, is a great jumping-off point to brush up on the unique culture of women’s football and help you get into the thick of the action.
The Players To Know
- Alexia Putellas, Spain – After missing the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 due to injury, the newly pink-haired midfielder and Ballon d’Or Féminin 2021 and 2022 winner will surely demonstrate why she’s the best in the world.
- Bethany England, England – The on-fire forward is back with the Lionesses after joining London team Tottenham Hotspur this year where she scored 12 goals in 12 games.
- Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw, Jamaica – This prolific forward, and Jamaica’s all-time top goalscorer, is captaining the Reggae Girlz to their second World Cup. (And she’ll be doing it in the most stylish kit – designed by Grace Wales-Bonner in collaboration with Adidas.)
- Melanie Leupolz, Germany and Crystal Dunn, USA – By taking their babies to the tournament, these players are demonstrating an important message – that with a strong support system, you can be a mother and an elite athlete.
- Sam Kerr, Australia – There isn’t enough space to list all of Kerr’s accolades but just know that she is probably the most entertaining goalscorer – and has a great backflip celebration.
The Accounts To Follow
- SEASON Zine – This trailblazing football and fashion platform offers an alternative to male, pale and sometimes stale football culture with an ethos that champions marginalised communities and forward-thinking initiatives.
- Togethxr – USA footballer Alex Morgan co-founded this unapologetic multimedia storytelling platform and brand with basketballer Sue Bird, snowboarder Chloe Kim and swimmer Simone Manuel to increase the coverage and community around women’s sports.
- Indivisa – This global community is the place to go for playful, social-first women’s football coverage. It has a slew of content planned around the World Cup with contributors including women’s football specialist Nancy Baker.
- Local FC – Chad Gibson, a former professional footballer, started documenting Australian football culture with this publication in 2011. His fascinating conversations, original merch and beautiful matchday photography transport you to the sidelines instantly.
- Mary Earps – The England goalkeeper and vice-captain is also a bona fide TikTok queen. Fun clips and LOL challenges with teammates reflect Earps’ confident sense of humour and have garnered 9.9 million likes.
The Books To Read, Podcasts To Download & Film To Watch
- A Woman’s Game: The Rise, Fall, And Rise Again Of Women’s Football by Suzanne Wrack – A deep-dive into the fascinating history of women’s football, from the 19th century to the present day. It won a Sunday Times Sports Book Award this year.
- Lioness: My Journey To Glory by Beth Mead – In this inspiring autobiography, award-winning England player Mead shares the triumphs and challenges she’s navigated on her remarkable football journey.
- Upfront – Hosted by Girls On The Ball co-founder Rachel O’Sullivan and ex-footballer-turned-The-Athletic editor Chloe Morgan, this popular women’s football podcast unpacks the biggest stories and delivers exclusive player interviews.
- Shea Butter FC – Skye and Sylvs, two Black women based in the US, soulfully cover women’s soccer in this weekly podcast, sharing insights on topics such as how Black culture has influenced football gear. They even crowdfunded to get themselves to the World Cup.
- Marinette (2023) – This enlightening biopic tells the story of Marinette Pichon, an LGBTQIA+ activist who became the first French woman to play professional football in the US.
Felicia Pennant is a writer, editor, entrepreneur and founder of SEASON Zine