Jamaica’s Khadija “Bunny” Shaw, 24, has been ranked 31st on the ESPN FC list of the 50 best female football players in the world in 2021. Shaw, 24, has already become the top goal scorer, male or female, in Jamaica’s history. No Jamaican has ever ranked higher than Shaw on the ESPN list.
She joined the Girondins de Bordeaux in France in 2019 and made 10 goals for the side in 2020. Shaw is the leading goal scorer in Division 1 Féminine league for 2021 with 19 goals. In ranking Shaw, ESPN FC made note of her “extreme mental strength,” a characteristic that helped her through the personal tragedy of losing four brothers and two nephews during the time she was in college and allowed her to stay in the United States and continue her career in football.
Khadija Monifa “Bunny” Shaw was born in 1997 in Spanish Town, Jamaica. She played for two years during junior college at Eastern Florida State College, receiving first-team National Junior College Athletic Association All-American honors in 2016. She transferred to the University of Tennessee in 2017 and was a member of the All-SEC first team in both her seasons there. The Bordeaux forward and captain of Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz national team won the title of SEC Player of the Year in 2018, her senior year at the University of Tennessee. She also played for the WPSL semi-pro team, the Florida Krush, in 2018. Shaw has played for Jamaica internationally at the U-15, U-17, U-20 and senior levels, making her debut at age 14.
The top 10 women’s footballers ranked in the ESPN FC list for 2021 are:
1. Sam Mewis, 28, midfielder, Manchester City/United States
2. Sam Kerr, 27, forward, Chelsea/Australia
3. Vivianne Miedema, 24, forward, Arsenal/Netherlands
4. Pernille Harder, 28, forward, Chelsea/Denmark
5. Lucy Bronze, 29, defender, Club/country: Manchester City/England
6. Crystal Dunn, 28, defender, Portland Thorns/United States
7. Dzsenifer Marozsan, 28, midfielder, Lyon/Germany
8. Julie Ertz, 28, midfielder, Chicago Red Stars/United States
9. Caroline Graham Hansen, 26, midfielder, Barcelona/Norway
10. Debinha, 29, forward, North Carolina Courage/Brazil
The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) is returning to play in 2021 on April 9 after the lockdown imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The NWSL was the first professional sports league to resume play in the United States and will include a new competition, The Challenge Cup, in its 2021 schedule.