COPA90’s 50-50 Icons
COPA90’s 50-50 Icons
The online platform dedicated to football culture, COPA19, has created a collection of 50 illustrations for key footballers at the World Cup in France, each unique to the player, drawing attention to their lives on and off the pitch.
The 50 players you need to know this summer...
50 bespoke illustrations documenting 50 players you need to know ahead of this summer’s World Cup in France, have been created by 10 illustrators (5 women and 5 men) with varying styles and mediums, commissioned by COPA90.
Each illustration has subtle references to who these women are both on and off the pitch - celebrating their characters and the compelling stories they have to tell.
The collection of illustrations includes 10 x Wonderkids – all looking to announce themselves and their talent on the world’s biggest stage.
You’ll then find 30 x Trailblazers - players who head into this summer’s World Cup at the very top of their game, each one ready to seize a moment that will write their name in the history books.
And the 10 x Legends of the game tell the stories of 10 remarkable athletes who changed the game and continue to do so.
Each player’s nationality and Instagram handle are called out so fans can follow them on social media and keep an eye on their progress during the competition.
Pacey, direct and full of tenacity, England forward Nikita Parris thanks growing up in the Liverpool inner city suburb of Toxteth for making her the player she is today. A graduate of Liverpool John Moores University, Nikita set up the NP17 academy to help girls from deprived regions of the city get into football. Coming from a family of Liverpool fans, when Nikita signed for Everton she always wore a red top under her shirt to ensure blue never got close to her heart. Indeed, sporting prowess runs in the family for Nikita, as half-sister Natasha is a professional boxer. Parris will be hoping to put on a knockout performance at what will be her first World Cup this summer.
Nicknamed ‘Superzee’ by team-mates, Asisat Oshoala burst onto the scene back in 2014, taking home the golden boot at the U-20 Women’s World Cup, earning herself a move to Liverpool where she became the first African footballer to play in the Women’s Super League. A proud Nigerian, Superzee has a host of accolades to her name already, including 3 African Cup of Nations titles and being made a Member of the Order of Niger by Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathon. Check her out on social for some serious style and swag too.
Incredibly, at the age of just 22, Cascarino already has 10 major trophies to her name with Lyon; 3 Champions Leagues, 3 Coupes De France and 4 French League titles. Football runs in the family, with Delphine’s twin sister Estelle Cascarino also capped by the national team and currently playing for Paris F.C. Having tasted World Cup glory before at the U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2012, Delphine is dreaming of more success this year, and the prospect is made extra special with the final being held in her club’s home stadium: the Parc Olympique Lyonnais.
One of the biggest names and personalities in the game, U.S.A captain Megan Rapinoe is as active off the pitch as she is on it, having founded her own lifestyle brand alongside the phenomenal work she does in the LGBT community. Indeed, Rapinoe is a keen civil rights activist, and was the first ever female athlete to kneel during the American national anthem in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. The technically gifted, tricky winger will be hoping to lead the U.S.A to their second consecutive World Cup triumph in France this summer on the 20th anniversary of the 99ers World Cup win.
Often regarded as the greatest female player of all time, Marta is a 6 time FIFA World Player Of The Year - a classic number 10 with creative flair, a sublime touch and an eye for a goal. Indeed, she scored one of the most iconic goals in World Cup history against the USA back in 2007 - well worth a look on Youtube. Marta joined Orlando Pride last year and was voted Most Valuable Player by her team-mates in her inaugural season, showing the kind of form which Brazil will hope she can replicate this summer in France.
Born in LA, California, to a Kiwi father and Amrican mother, Riley played for Stanford University before spells at Pali Blues, FC Gold Pride, Western New York Flash and FC Rosengard in Sweden, where she won 9 major titles. The Football Ferns captain has her own podcast called “Girls With Balls”, which heroes “brave women who dare to follow their dreams, both on and off the pitch” - check out the latest episode featuring Riley’s Chelsea team-mate Fran Kirby. Riley is also a qualified health coach, and runs the Instagram account @love2eat2love which shares some seriously good looking, healthy recipes.
Often referred to as the Marta of Argentina, Washington Spirit midfielder Estefanía Banini, nicknamed Estefi, is an exceptional dribbler with an electric turn of speed. In 2014, Estefi captained Colo-Colo to their ninth consecutive Chilean league title. The Copa Libertadores winner is vocal in raising awareness for better conditions and opportunities for young female footballers in Argentina. She enjoys singing, with music playing a key role in her pre-match routine, often listening to up-beat tracks ahead of a big game.
Signed by Arsenal at the age of 8, Alex Scott went on to become one of the world’s best full-backs, winning 5 Women’s Super League titles, 7 FA Cups and 1 Champions League title, amongst a host of individual awards and recognitions, including an MBE. Known for her incredible stamina and blistering pace, Scott provided both defensive solidity and a constant attacking threat for club and country. Since retirement, Scott has transitioned into punditry and presenting, earning widespread acclaim for her superb insight into both the women’s and men’s game.
An American sporting icon - Abby Wambach is widely considered as the greatest striker to ever grace the women’s game, having scored more goals internationally than any other player, male or female. Born in New York, World Cup winner and two-time Olympic gold medalist Wambach is also a New York Times best-selling author with her book titled ‘Wolfpack’ - an inspiring rallying cry to women across the world to unite and unleash their individual power to change the game. She does regular fundraising for the Epilepsy Foundation and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, alongside acting as a prominent figurehead in the battle to end homophobia and transphobia in sports. Named by Time Magazine in 2015 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world - she has been working with COPA90 to bring visibility to the women’s game.
Winner of the FIFA Female Player of the Century award, Sun Wen was the stand-out player from the Chinese golden generation on the 1990s. She helped power China to the 1999 World Cup final and played in front of a record breaking 90,185 fans. The formidable striker also picked up the Golden Ball (top player) and Golden Boot (top scorer) awards at the tournament. Winner of 4 Asian Cups and an Olympic silver medal, Sun Wen also has a degree in Chinese Literature from Shanghai University.