Association Football, or soccer, if some of you want to call it that, is by far the most popular sport in the world with an estimated fanbase of over 3.5 billion people, 1 billion more than the next contender, cricket. And while most people, when they hear of soccer, think about male superstars like Ronaldo and Messi, not a lot of people know who the female superstars of this sport are. It's true, female soccer is far less popular than the male version of the game, and some may say that it's because it lacks the aggressiveness or that women don't have the same athletic potential as men. But that doesn't mean female soccer underperforms in every aspect that interests the viewers, as there is one particular area where women do really really well, maybe even better than men—sex appeal.
We all know that working out, if done properly, will make you look a lot better than someone who spends all day on their bottom. Now if you happen to be a professional athlete that works out every single day, chances are you'll get some heads turning when you show up at the beach on your vacation. Okay, so we were talking about female soccer and how it gets a lot less attention than it deserves. Well, if you're reading this article ‘til the end, chances are, you'll start watching a few matches here and there as these ladies are sure to get you on your toes cheering. The only thing you should know is that they don't take their shirts off when they score a goal like their male counterparts, so don't be hoping for that.
15 Milene Domingues
This Brazilian beauty represented her country at the 2003 Women's World Cup and also holds the record for the most expensive female football player bought by a Spanish club for the £200,000 that Rayo Vallecano paid to add her to their team. This really shows how undervalued female soccer is, as male superstars can change teams for tens of millions of dollars. She is also known for being the first wife of Brazilian legend, Ronaldo, who is regarded as one of the greatest strikers in history. The former #26 has retired from football in order to pursue another career that definitely suits her—modeling.
14 Heather Mitts
Heather was born in Cincinnati and discovered her passion for soccer at 6 years old, when she first started playing. From there, she became better and better, playing in the college championship for the University of Florida and then professionally, in the Women's Professional Soccer League. She won three gold medals with the US Women's National Team and finished second at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. After all these incredible accomplishments, nobody can say it matters anymore how she looks, but just to top it all off, we'll just say that Heather could be modeling for Victoria's Secret just as well as she played for the USA.
13 Kaylyn Kyle
This 28-year-old blondie is a product of Canada, born and raised in Saskatoon, and while she could've just done what everybody else does in Canada and play hockey, she chose soccer and it turned out to be a great choice both for her and her country. She has played in the US for the Orlando Pride and represented Canada in over 100 matches since 2008, becoming one of her country's leading players. She comes from a family of athletes, as her father was a professional hockey player and her mother a volleyball player. Her older sister, Courtnee, also played soccer professionally at the national level. In April this year, Kaylyn announced her retirement from international competitions on social media, after playing her 100th game in the Canadian jersey at the last FIFA Women's World Cup.
12 Laisa Andrioli
When you think about it, the two things that Brazil is best known for are football and beautiful women. I guess you can say that Laisa Andrioli is what you get if you combine those two. Although she played for her country's national team, most people know her for the raunchy photoshoots she did over the years. Seriously, when you search her name, the big majority of the results will be near-naked photos of her and some even without the "near." She must've been quite a good player, but when you look like that, it's hard to imagine that people will remember you for anything else. Except if you scored a goal against them.
11 Amy Duggan
Amy Duggan is a former Australian professional football player who played over twenty international matches with her country's team that is hilariously nicknamed "The Matildas." She was described as a tenacious defender and aggressive tackler, a style of play that contributed to the many injuries that ultimately ended her career. Although she wasn't really a star on the team, she came to prominence after appearing on the cover of "The Matildas" nude calendar. After that, many other magazine appearances followed, and she eventually transitioned to a career as a TV personality, presenting the sports news and hosting several shows, including the reality television program Football Superstar.
10 Anouk Hoogendijk
Noukie, as her teammates and fans call her, is a Dutch professional footballer playing for Ajax Amsterdam as a defender. Since 2004, she has represented her country in various international tournaments in over 100 matches. She came to prominence at the age of 12 as a contestant in a Dutch TV program, and revealed that her dream would be to train and play for FC Utrecht. She was signed by Utrecht in 2007 and has since changed many teams, playing a few seasons in England too, for Bristol Academy and Arsenal Ladies. She's clearly a great player, but we doubt that's the only reason why Dutch fans love her.
9 Erika Dos Santos
Well, Brazil might not be the best team in the world (it's 9th in the FIFA ranking) on court, but I think it's safe to say that it's leading the beauty contest by a considerable margin, and 29-year-old Erika is just another great example of that. With over 40 games for the national team and a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she's definitely the kind of player you won't be able to take your eyes off. After her former team, Santos decided to disband the female section in order to secure a gigantic new contract for the male team's star player at the time, Neymar, and she and other former teammates moved to Centro Olimpico. She currently plays in France for Paris Saint-Germain and is one of the French fans' favorite players, for many reasons.
8 Sydney Leroux
Although she was born in Canada, Sydney's dream since she was a little girl was to play for the US women's national soccer team, and through work, dedication, and passion, she achieved just that...and much more. She's had more than 70 appearances for the US team, is an Olympic gold medalist, and has scored 35 goals for the national team in various international competitions, including the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup that was won by Team USA against Japan in the finals. She currently plays for FC Kansas City and has the #14 jersey. Apart from soccer, she has appeared in various TV programs, including an ESPN feature titled Living Her Dream that focused on her evolution as an international soccer player. She also appeared on the cover of ESPN Magazine's The Body Issue alongside teammates Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan.
7 Laure Boulleau
I guess we've had just enough Brazilians and Americans for now. It's time for France to make its entrance on the list of the hottest female soccer players around the world, and as always, the French are far from disappointing. Laure Boulleau is 100% a product of France, and has played her entire career for various clubs in the Division 1 Féminine and for the French national team. She primarily plays as a defender and is currently signed to Paris Saint-Germain, a club that all we can say about is it knows how to pick its players. Laure is also very active on social media and her Instagram account has over 250k followers.
6 Adriana Leon
It seems that Brazil and the US finally have some competition, and it's from where you least expect it. Though her name might trick you into thinking she's just another Latin American beauty, Adriana proudly represents the northern nation of Canada. The 24-year-old plays as an attacking midfielder for the Canadian Women's National Team and for the Boston Breakers. She also had a stint playing abroad in Switzerland, for FC Zürich Frauen, before deciding to return to the US to play for the Boston-based team at the beginning of this year. With players like her and Kaylyn on the team (and some others), it's clear that the future of Canadian women's soccer is going to be very very bright.
5 Alexia Putellas
Alexia Putellas is 23 years old and comes from Spain. She is currently playing for FC Barcelona's women's team and for the Spanish national team. As an attacking midfielder, she's considered to be one of Barcelona's best players, and was named best Catalan player of the year in the 2014-2015 season alongside the men's team superstar Gerard Pique. Her great performances helped Barcelona win three League titles and two Spanish cups, while also competing in the Champions League, the world's most prestigious football club competition. While FC Barcelona's men's team is one of the best and most loved football teams on the globe, Alexia is one of the many reasons why fans should check out the women's team too.
4 Lauren Sesselmann
So, Brazil has three, and the US and Canada are both tied with two. And I'm telling you, this one is a tiebreaker. What? USA, you said? Well...it's Canada again, my friends! Well, not entirely. Lauren was actually born in the US, in Wisconsin to be precise, but chose to play for the Canadian team after she acquired Canadian citizenship in 2010 through her father, who is from the Newfoundland and Labrador region. She won the bronze medal in 2012 with her national team in London and currently plays for the Houston Dash in the National Women's Soccer League. Apart from football, she also produced and starred in a fitness DVD program titled Fit As A Pro with Lauren Sesselmann. I wonder how many people actually worked out to her DVD and how many just bought it to look at her working out.
3 Alex Morgan
Yes, it's the US with the comeback, and it really doesn't get much better than Alex Morgan. The 27-year-old is widely considered to be one of the best American female athletes and one of the world's best soccer players. The stunning striker has played over 100 games for the national team and scored no less than 73 goals. She's an Olympic Gold Medalist and is endorsed by several big companies like Nike, Panasonic, AT&T, and McDonald's. In 2016, she appeared alongside Lionel Messi on the cover of the FIFA 16 video game sold in the US. She's currently playing in France for Olympique Lyonnais where she went on loan for this season from the Orlando Pride.
2 Kosovare Asllani
Kosovare, or Kosse, as she's known by her fans, was born in Kristianstad, Sweden although she isn't of Swedish descent, as her parents are both immigrants from Kosovo. Sports has been a big part of her life from a very young age and she was very talented at both soccer and ice hockey. She eventually decided to focus all her efforts on football and at the age of 15, she started her professional career in the Swedish second division. Quickly establishing herself as a prodigy after the scoring a whopping 49 goals in 48 matches, Kosse's career skyrocketed and she was even considered to be some kind of female version of fellow Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovich, one of the world's greatest strikers. The beautiful 27-year-old currently plays in England for Manchester City and is very close to playing her 100th match for the Swedish national team.
1 Hope Solo
Who else was going to save the day for USA if not Hope Solo? She already did it countless times. Regarded as one of the world's top female goalkeepers, and probably the most famous, Solo has been a key player for the US national team for over two decades. Many even consider her the greatest American soccer player ever, and while that's something very subjective, no one can say she's not at least a strong contender for that title. People who aren't football fans may know her from Dancing with the Stars, or maybe from the countless magazine covers she appeared on, from ESPN's The Body Issue to Vogue and Sports Illustrated. After winning the gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Solo released her best-selling autobiography titled Solo: A Memoir of Hope, which debuted at number three on The New York Times Bestseller list, the highest ranking ever for a book about soccer. She's both very talented and very beautiful, and that is why fans love her so much.