African players to watch at FIFA Women’s World Cup

They range from top scorers in Europe to hat-trick queens at Olympics

In Summary

• The World Cup features four teams from the continent: Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Morocco

• These teams have brought top players to the tournament, including Asisat Oshaola, Barbara Banda, Refiloe Jane and Ghizlane Chebbak

Some of the African players at the Women's World Cup
Some of the African players at the Women's World Cup

The 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand brings together the crème de la crème of world football, with five-time Ballon d'Or winner Marta of Brazil and the current holder of the title Alexia Putellas of Spain among the star attractions.

Africa's four representatives, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Morocco, are also bringing star-studded squads to the tournament.

Some of the top African players have made waves playing with European sides, giving their teams some X-factor.

So, who are the African players to look out for at the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup?


The Nigeria striker is among the most-feared forwards worldwide following her exploits with Barcelona, where she has been the top scorer for two seasons.

The 27-year-old has been termed a 'blessing' by her Nigerian teammate and captain, Onome Ebi, and it is not hard to understand why.

Oshoala literally carries Nigeria at major tournaments, and this was clear at the 2022 Africa Women's Cup of Nations, when the Super Falcons ended up fourth, having come in as firm favourites, following the striker's injury in the tournament-opening match.

After exploding onto the scene at the 2014 Under-20 World Cup, where she was top scorer and best player, Oshoala has shown remarkable consistency.

This will be her third straight World Cup, and she will become the first African player to score at three tournaments if she finds the target in Australia and New Zealand after her exploits in 2015 and 2019.

The five-time African Player of the Year gives defenders nightmares with her strength, pace and movement on and off the ball, with her finishing second to none.


At just 23, Barbara Banda was already making waves worldwide and gave World Cup fans what to expect with her exquisite finishes as she scored twice in her country's shock 3-2 victory over Germany on July 7.

That was after her impressive performance at the 2020 Olympics, when she scored back-to-back hat-tricks, the first player to do so in the event's history.

Last year, Banda was excluded from the Africa Women's Cup of Nations due to a dispute regarding her gender eligibility.

Nevertheless, she remained in Morocco and motivated her teammates to achieve an impressive third-place finish.

Banda, who captains the Coppa Queens, was eventually reinstated and went on to score 10 goals in five matches at the 2022 Cosafa Cup.

Currently, Banda plays for Shanghai Shengli in China, but a European team will likely sign her due to her exceptional speed, vision and finishing abilities.


Morocco's captain Ghizlane Chebbak was named player of the tournament at the 2022 Africa Women's Cup of Nations when they finished second while earning a maiden World Cup ticket, and she carries her nation's hopes in Australia and New Zealand.

Daughter of 1976 Africa Cup of Nations winner Larbi Chebbak, she was joint top scorer as Morocco made waves at the continental tournament, where they made a return after 20 years.

The playmaker is Morocco's record scorer with 21 goals from 60 caps. and she finished her fifth straight season as the league's top scorer as her club AS FAR won the 10th title in a row.

Morocco is also known for having one of the strongest defences in the World Cup and will be seeking to score goals to seal the deal.

Chebbak's exceptional set-piece skills will be useful during the tournament, as she rarely misses free kicks, corners or penalties. Her excellent passing ability and pace in the final third will also create scoring opportunities for her teammates.


It's not often that central midfielders get recognised, but South Africa's captain Rafiloe Jane is too talented to go unnoticed. She plays a crucial role in all aspects of the game, seamlessly connecting the team's defence and offence.

Despite her small stature, Jane excels as a deep-lying playmaker, creating opportunities for her teammates to score rather than score herself. She is so vital to the team's success that South Africa's performance suffers when she has an off day.

Named in the Team of the Tournament at the 2022 Africa Women's Cup, Jane was central to Banyana Banyana's run to the final and ultimately winning the title.

The Sassuolo midfielder is the one who will be controlling the tempo of the match as South Africa looks for their first-ever win at the World Cup in their second tournament.

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star