Celebrating Greatness - Alexia and the Fantastic Four

To mark International Women’s Day 2024, we’re highlighting 5 International Women footballers who have smashed expectations and become bigger than the game. Whether you already own the shirt or are hearing about them for the first time, these are five player cards you should be on the lookout for as you build your Matchday lineup.

Caroline Graham Hansen is not just a footballer; she's a force to be reckoned with on the pitch. Born and raised in Oslo, Norway, she's been breaking stereotypes since she was young. She started making waves in football with mixed-gender teams, proving she wasn't just keeping up but setting the pace.

Her journey from playing in Norway with Stabæk, moving on to Tyresö in Sweden, and then to Wolfsburg in Germany is nothing short of remarkable. At Wolfsburg she led the Bundesliga in assists in the 2018/19 season.

In 2019, she signed with Barcelona, where her impact was immediate and profound. She helped Barcelona clinch their first league title since 2015 and contributed to their UEFA Women's Champions League victory in 2021. Despite facing a significant setback with a knee injury early in her career, Caroline's resilience shines through. Her comeback stories are as inspiring as her on-field performances.

Fun fact: she was the first Norwegian to sign for Barcelona, men's or women's teams, showing her trailblazing spirit.

Yui Hasegawa Yui Hasegawa of Sendai, Japan, has made an indelible mark on the international stage and clubs around the world. Having broken through the heavily male dominated football culture of Japan to achieve professional success. She started playing football influenced by her older brothers and was the only girl in her team early on. Her dedication and passion for the game saw her rise through the ranks, from Tokyo Verdy Beleza to AC Milan, then West Ham United before her current stint at Manchester City. Not to mention nearly 80 appearances and counting for the Japanese national team. No odds are too great for Hasegawa-san.

Lizbeth Ovalle Hailing from Mexico, Lizbeth Ovalle is affectionately known as "La Maga" (The Magician). Her skills are no illusion though, having recently scored a blinder against the USA. Not only was it the first time the USA had conceded a goal to a CONCACAF team in THIRTY-THREE games, but it was only the 2nd time EVER the USWNT has lost to Mexico! This dazzling midfielder is an indispensable player for Tigres UANL. Not to mention she’s a Nike sponsored athlete with 180k Instagram supporters at only 24 years old! Expect to see more from this gifted athlete in the future.

Catalina Usme

A prominent figure in Colombian and international women's football. The all-time leading goalscorer for Columbia, she began her professional journey with Club Deportivo Formas Íntimas. Later, Catalina made a significant impact at América de Cali. Her exceptional skills have led her to become the top scorer in the league and achieve notable success in the Copa Libertadores. Catalina has been in the game since the start, as her father is a former professional goalkeeper. Family connections don’t stop there however, as her twin sister Carolina is ALSO a footballer, a defender for Independiente Medellín. But there’s yet more - her brother is also in the game as a professional coach. Phew, what a player and what a family.

Alexia Putellas

She's a football legend. Hailing from Catalonia, she's carved out a path that many dream of but few achieve. From her early days, Alexia showed promise, outplaying her peers and quickly moving up the ranks from Espanyol to Levante, and finally, making her mark at Barcelona. It's not just about the clubs, though - it's about impact. Seven league titles, seven Copas de la Reina, and two UEFA Women's Champions League trophies with Barcelona speak volumes of her contribution to the sport.

It's not just her on-field prowess that makes Alexia stand out - it's her resilience. Facing a career-threatening ACL injury, she didn't just return - she came back stronger, and won the World Cup with Spain. This comeback story isn't just inspiring - it's a testament to her unyielding spirit.

What truly sets Alexia apart, though, is her deep-rooted love for football, nurtured from a young age in a family of Barcelona supporters. Imagine the dinner table debates with that one cousin who supports Real Madrid! Not to mention as a business woman, she’s both an Ambassador and Investor in Matchday. It's this blend of passion and skill across different worlds that makes Alexia Putellas a star footballer and an icon.

Before we leave you - here’s a treat. Some words from the GOAT herself.

Expect to see more of her in our upcoming football game,

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