Jamaican Khadija “Bunny” Shaw, 26, who plays forward for Manchester City in the WSL and striker for Jamaica’s national women’s team, the Reggae Girlz, has been ranked Number 24 in the List of the Best Women’s Players in the World for 2023 by The Guardian in the United Kingdom. Her position on the list was up from her 2022 position at Number 62.
In 2023, Shaw, one of the most prolific goal scorers in the world, became the first player in the history of the WSL to achieve three hat tricks in a single calendar year. Between last season and the current season, she has scored 29 goals for Manchester City, as well as getting nine assists. Second only to Rachel Daly for the 2022-2023 Golden Boot award, Shaw has continued to meet the expectations that her fans and coaches held for her. Her 2023 Women’s World Cup experience was frustrating as Jamaica made a priority of the defense-first approach, which left her playing a lone role in front.
Women’s World Cup
Shaw was ranked among the top 25 players in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament, ranking at Number 16. Expectations were high for the Man City forward as she had already become the season’s leading goal scorer. Shaw was considered one of the Top Number 9 players in the world as well, which made her a force to reckon with. Her physical presence in the game was described as “unparalleled,” and her tactical knowledge helps to break down defenses from a deeper position. Jamaica had never made it past the group stage of the Women’s World Cup before, but with the help of Shaw, the team reached the knockout stage with a 0-0 draw against Brazil, the first team from the Caribbean to do so. Their quest for the championship ended in a 1-0 defeat against Columbia.
Some background on Bunny Shaw
The professional footballer was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica, in 1997. She is Jamaica’s all-time top goal scorer, male or female, and represented the country in the 2019 and 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup competitions. She is the youngest of 13 children and attended St Jago High School. She began playing football with her brothers, and at age 10, her brother Kentardo taught her the ins and outs of the game. She was called up for the Jamaica U15 team for the first time when she was 13 and got scholarship offers from Navarro College in Texas and Eastern Florida State College. After being scouted by the University of Tennessee, she played there and graduated with a degree in communications. She has played internationally for Jamaica at the U15, U17, U20, and senior levels, with her debut senior international appearance in 2015 where she scored twice in an Olympic qualifier over the Dominican Republic.
Shaw signed on with Manchester City in 2021 on a three-year deal from Bordeaux. She scored her first hat trick for the club in a 6-0 victory versus Leicester City in the FA Cup and was also the joint top scorer in the 2021-2022 FA Women’s League Cup. Her breakout year was her second season with Man City, where she brought her goal total to 26 in 22 games to become the squad’s highest-scoring women’s player in a single season. She was named CONCACAF Female Player of the Year in 2022, the first Caribbean player in history to win the title. She scored 31 goals in 30 competitions for Man City in the 2022-2023 season, receiving the title of Player of the Season. She was also included in the PFA WSL Team of the Year for 2023 and nominated for the Ballon d’Or Féminin. She signed a two-year contract extension with Man City in May 2023.
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