Malawi women’s national football team Captain, Tabitha Chawinga, has been ranked 29th out of the world’s top 100 women footballers.
Football podcast site called The Offside Rule involved 59 judges from around the world in voting for the top 100 women footballers of 2017.
The results are a remarkable improvement for the former DD Sunshine goal-poacher, who was on position 90 in 2016.
The site argues that Tabitha, who got 483 points, deserves her place among the best strikers in world football after scoring an incredible 25 goals during Sweden’s 2017 Damallsvenskan season, 12 more than next best, Linda Sällström.
It also credits Tabitha for winning Sweden’s goal of the week four times and said this shows that she not only scores plenty but does so in style.
“With so many years ahead of her, many are wondering just how far she can go,” reads a report on the site.
European women’s football writer, Katja Kragelund, was quoted by the site as saying Tabitha set the Damallsvenskan alight [again] last season.
Kragelund said the 21-year-old scored 26 sensetional goals in 22 league matches for a team that was eventually relegated, which was 11 goals more than the next player in the league.
“She almost makes it look easy, and there is no defender who doesn’t dread going up against her. She deservedly won Forward of the Year in Sweden,” she said.
Tabitha’s former teammate at Kvarnsvedens IK, Brianne Reed, said Tabitha is among the best players she had ever seen.
“She is so dynamic. She has speed and strength and an incredible ability to consistently put the ball into the back of the net. The crazy part is it’s all raw natural talent at this point. She is an incredible player but still has so much to learn, which means she can only get better.
“Playing against her every day in practice made me a better player and I have no doubt that she will be one of the best in the world. She is still so young with so much soccer ahead of her but I can’t wait to see where she goes from here,” Reed said.
Sarah Elnicky also played with Tabitha at Kvarnsvedens IK and told the site that the Malawian is one of the kindest people she has ever met.
“She is humble and grateful for everything she has been able to do. She has unmatched quickness and speed both on and off the ball, and has the ability to go one versus one with not only the best defenders in the world, but taking on whole defences on her own at a time. She has an amazing left foot that can score from any angle,” Elnicky said.
The Netherlands and FC Barcelona striker, Lieke Martins, tops the list with 2,015 points.
The Offside Rule won the 2015 Best Football Product at Football Blogging award for its analysis of football.
Tabitha, who top-scored for Malawi at the 2017 Cosafa Championship in Zimbabwe with nine goals from three games, moved to China early this year where she has scored two goals for her team, Jiangsu Suning.
Tabitha’s younger sister, Temwa, plays for Kvarnsvedens whereas Malawi Captain Chisomo Kazisonga is on the books of an Austrian lower division team. Malawi women’s football has potential but it is affected by poor sponsorship.