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2011 Women's World Cup: Ranking the Top 10 Players

Andrew JordanSenior Writer IJuly 20, 2011

2011 Women's World Cup: Ranking the Top 10 Players

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    After nearly a month of incredible play, the 2011 Women's World Cup has ended with Japan beating the United States 4-1 on penalty kicks.

    This month has brought us some amazing moments such as Abby Wambach's sudden death goal against Brazil, Japan defeating Germany in extra time and two amazing comebacks by the Japanese in the final.

    With the World Cup now over, here are the 10 best players of the 2011 Women's World Cup.

10. Erika

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    Even though she will be more remembered for her acting at the end of the quarterfinal against the United States, Erika had a fantastic tournament for Brazil.

    Not only was she able to score a great goal, but her talents helped to limit Brazil to just two goals conceded in the entire tournament, both of which were in the loss to the Americans.

    Erika was also one of two Brazilians named to the World Cup All-Star team.

9. Lisa Dahlkvist

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    In this World Cup, Lisa Dahlkvist was able to score goals against North Korea, the United States and the winner against Australia in the quarterfinal.

    Dahlkvist's efforts allowed Sweden to finish third in the World Cup.

8. Lauren Cheney

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    A future star for the US national team, Lauren Cheney proved that she was one of the top players for the Americans on their trip to the final.

    Cheney's two goals came against North Korea in the group stage and against France in the semifinal.

    Also, Cheney's play was fantastic throughout, which was a huge reason why she was one of four Americans chosen as a World Cup All-Star.

7. Aya Miyama

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    One of the greatest players to ever play for Japan, Aya Miyama was a critical part of the Japanese team that won the World Cup.

    During the tournament, Miyama scored a great goal off a free kick and also scored the first Japanese goal in the final that led to extra time.

    Miyama was also named as an All-Star from this World Cup.

6. Lotta Schelin

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    Compared to Zlatan Ibrahimovic for her physical attributes, Lotta Schelin proved to be one of the most effective players for Sweden in this World Cup.

    Schelin scored her goals in the third place match and in the quarterfinal and was fantastic to watch in the knockout stages.

    Schelin was also named to the World Cup All-Star team.

5. Ayumi Kaihori

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    The star goalkeeper for Japan, Ayumi Kaihori was extremely influential in Japan's World Cup title.

    Kaihori's play was huge as Japan stunned Germany in the quarterfinal, and her play was undoubtedly the difference for Japan throughout this tournament.

    Kaihori also was named as a World Cup All-Star.

4. Marta

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    She may be the best female footballer in the world, but Marta's play exposed two sides of her during this tournament.

    Her creativity was the reason why Brazil looked extremely brilliant at times, but her play in the quarterfinal showed the dirty side of Marta's game.

    Regardless, Marta still bagged a brace in that match against the Americans and nearly was enough for the Brazilians to win.

    Marta's four goals were enough to win the Silver Boot and to be named an All-Star.

3. Hope Solo

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    One of the biggest faces from the American's World Cup run, Hope Solo and her play were nothing short of spectacular throughout the World Cup, despite having an injury to her shoulder.

    Solo's saves always helped out the United States in key moments and is one of the players that has gained a fan following from this tournament.

    Solo was named the best goalkeeper of the tournament, the Bronze Ball and was an All-Star.

2. Abby Wambach

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    Throughout this World Cup, Abby Wambach scored some fantastic goals.

    From the last-second goal in Dresden during the quarterfinal to the winner against France in the semifinal to what appeared to be the winning goal in the final, Wambach left a massive impression on fans throughout the globe with her play.

    Wambach's goals were a massive reason why the United States reached the final, and Wambach was rewarded for her efforts with the Silver Ball, Bronze Boot and a spot on the World Cup All-Star team.

1. Homare Sawa

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    The undisputed best player of this World Cup, Homare Sawa's play was a massive factor why Japan were able to secure their first ever World Cup.

    Sawa was able to record a hat trick in the group stage against Mexico and also had goals against Sweden in the semifinal and against the United States in the final.

    Sawa was rewarded with the Golden Ball, Golden Boot, a spot on the World Cup All-Star roster and the most important title of all—World Champion.

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