Advertisement
Football

All the Heroes and Villains of the 2019 Women's World Cup

Big up Megan Rapinoe. Big up Sari van Veenendaal. Once again, fuck VAR.

by Ruby Lott-Lavigna
08 July 2019, 11:43am

Photo by Brad Smith via isiphotos.com/ Getty Images

You saw it coming from the moment they scored 13(!) whole times in their first match. At the end of the most successful Women's World Cup of all time, the USA have once again been crowned champions.

Despite this exceptionally predictable outcome, the tournament will leave a profound, positive stamp on the women's game in years to come, both financially and culturally. Never before has a tournament produced so many star players telling critics to get fucked, or featured as many drunk Brits screaming at TVs across the country. And thanks to winning their fourth title, the USA will now be bolstered in their fight for equal (unequally more?) pay, while unprecedented viewership will lead to increased funding globally for professional and grassroots players alike. Officially: it's been lit.

As you unfollow loads of American players on Twitter in a fit of anger, here's our official World Cup power ranking, from the heroes to the villains and all the shithousery in between.

MEGAN RAPINOE

1562577957100-rapinoe
Photo: Mike Lawrie / Getty Images and Pixabay.

Obviously. Rapinoe is the most talked-about footballer in the world right now because: a) she's really good at scoring goals and fucking knows it; b) she is openly anti-Trump and wants everyone to fucking know it and, most importantly; c) she played absolutely no part in kicking England out of the World Cup. Our hero.

AMERICA

1562579579649-GettyImages-1154479248
Photo by Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images

You hate to see it. You absolutely hate to see it – but America have not only be the most powerful side in this tournament, but they've once again proven themselves one of the most dominate teams in the history of All The Sports. Yes they are irritating, smug and arrogant, but they are all these things with style – maintaining a dynamic, fast, and heavily-attacking side that has been unfazed at every challenge the World Cup had to offer. They nutmegged their way through England's defence, and their relentless attacking pressure took its toll on a Netherlands side that for large parts of the final could barely get out of their own half. I hate them, you hate them, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are now the four-times World Champions.

SARI VAN VEENENDAAL

1562579591810-GettyImages-1154512843
Photo by Daniela Porcelli/Getty Images

The tournament's best goalkeeper is currently unemployed as she was released in the summer by Arsenal – a team who, admirably, seem equally committed to assembling their men's and women's squad through the medium of banter. In the final, Van Veenendaal personified the Netherlands's campaign by just quietly going about her business well, repelling attack after attack. She didn't deserve to be on the losing team.

BOOING

Fair play to the French fans randomly booing at anything they didn't find entertaining, like diving. Fair play.

LUCY BRONZE

As Phil Neville loves to say, Lucy Bronze is the best right back in the world. Her strength, creative defending, and ability to race up the wing makes her reliable and deadly on any side of the pitch. Plus she scored a stonking free kick against Norway in the semi-finals – a beautiful, powerful shot directly into the top of the net. England had conceded only one goal until the semi-finals, and this is largely down to Bronze. Also, a Domino's in Leeds where Bronze once worked turned their sign, er, bronze out of respect.

SAM KERR

1562577846928-kerr
Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

The extremely confident Australian footballer may be remembered for fluffing some crucial moments at this tournament, such as a penalty kick against Norway that flew well wide of goal. However, she did tell the haters to “suck on that one” after Australia came from 2-0 up to beat Brazil in the group stages – a legendary soundbite from a tournament that would usually be filled with people just saying "at the end of the day” 482 times. Most footballers are profoundly boring and Kerr feels like that friend who would punch a guy in the face if he tried to just grab your arse. Respect!

CAMEROON'S SHITHOUSERY

C’mon lads. We know VAR is shit. We know that the offside goal was really fucking annoying and probably more an issue with the technology than the fact your player had a heel beyond the defender. But unfortunately, you just can't threaten to walk off when things don't go your way. The men's game doesn't need any more inspiration on how to ruin a game by throwing a giant hissy fit.

THE *RESPONSE* TO CAMEROON'S SHITHOUSERY

Just because they were wrong to disrupt the play, it doesn’t give you the right to be racist. Cameroon know what the offside rule is. We're looking at you, Hope Solo.

ALEX MORGAN'S CELEBRATION

1562579604975-GettyImages-1153324771
Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

A tea celebration! Wow! All us tea drinking, Prince Diana mug-owning, jellied eel-eating Brits were so offended! Shame your president's a misogynist.

THAT GODDAMN BRASS BAND

PLEASE STOP PLAYING "RULE BRITANNIA" ON YOUR SHIT HORN AS WE LOSE. IT IS NOT FUN NOR ENJOYABLE.

VAR

1562591370453-var-1
Screenshot: YouTube

VAR was the absolute villain of this year’s World Cup, and I’m not just saying that as an England supporter. VAR technology has been introduced at the expense of spontaneous celebration and referee discretion, transforming the game into a fact-checking mission of looped videos and shoelaces over the line. It was employed doggedly at the beginning of the tournament and as a result, caused unnecessary disruption in Scotland's last group game against Argentina, Cameroon’s crucial goal against England, and England's equaliser in the semi-final. New rules should be introduced to mitigate the teething of the new technology, rather than letting it ruin celebrations across the world.

@rubyJLL