Lauren James England

Lauren James: The emerging star aiming for World 11 debut

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Lauren James England
  • For the first time in her career, Lauren James is a finalist for the FIFA FIFPRO Women’s World 11

  • The 22-year-old English forward announced herself on the international stage at the 2023 Women’s World Cup

  • FIFPRO sums up her claims to a place in the 2023 team of the year

One of the great arrivals on the international scene in 2023 was that of Lauren James. The young English forward enjoyed a remarkable season both at club and international level and her impact has been sufficient to make her one of the nominees for inclusion in the 2023 FIFA FIFPRO Women’s World 11.

Beyond James’ outstanding performances for Chelsea, the showcase of the 2023 Women’s World Cup was decisive in leading her fellow professionals to vote for her en masse and put her on the shortlist for a place in the team of the year.

Fellow forwards Jennifer Hermoso, Sam Kerr, Alex Morgan, Salma Paralluelo, Alexandra Popp and Alessia Russo are vying with James to see who will make the World 11 based on their performances for the period 1 August 2022 to 20 August 2023 inclusive.

The 2022/23 season

The four and a half matches James played in Australia & New Zealand 2023 enabled her to make a real impact on the field.

Three goals scored – all three proving her to be an excellent striker of the ball – and also three assists put numbers to her brilliant performance at the global finals; only overshadowed by the two-match ban she received for her red card in the Round of 16 match against Nigeria.

What is striking is that James’ journey with the Lionesses had begun just a year before: her international debut was as recent as September 2022, in a qualifier against Austria.

With Chelsea she contributed five goals and two goal-passes to winning the league title. Her creativity and ability to be unpredictable in attack earned her the award for best young player of the year.

James, the sister of Chelsea defender Reece, also lifted the Women’s FA Cup and the Finalissima 2023 with England.

Individual achievements in 2022/23

  • PFA Young Player of the Year 2023
  • Best player Arnold Clark Cup 2023
  • Young Player of the Year 2023 (Women’s Football Awards)

James in the FIFA FIFPRO Women’s World 11

This is James’ first appearance on the list of 23 finalists for the FIFA FIFPRO Women’s World 11. Since her professional debut in August 2018 with Manchester United she has been constantly improving; even in 2019/20 she was among the finalists for the PFA Young Player of the Year award.

But to be included in the very small group of exclusive candidates for the World 11 she needed to develop even further. James took an important step by signing for Chelsea in 2021. She did not play much in her first year – only six games, none as a starter – but the 2022/23 season was her coming of age.

“Even just 'that's Lauren James, that's Reece's sister'. But I want to carve out [my own name] and be known as 'this is Lauren James'.”

— by Lauren James

The football world talks about James

"She’s a young player so she’s still learning when to be selfish and when not to be, when to make the right decision, when to go, when to shoot. I’m just there to help her find the way she should play."
Lucy Bronze, England international player

"She has trained all her life, she's dedicated, and she's been obsessed with being a footballer. It's all she has ever wanted to do."
Nigel James, coach and father of Lauren

"She is incredible. She brings a different presence to the team and a load of ability. She is so special, and you can see what she can do in tight spaces."
Rachel Daly, England international player

When will the 2023 FIFA FIFPRO Women’s World 11 be known?

The 2023 FIFA FIFPRO Women’s World 11 will be officially announced at The Best FIFA Football Awards 2023, for which the gala will be held on Monday 15 January 2024 in London, England.

It will be made up of the 11 players – out of the 23 on the final list – who receive the most votes in their position.