Saki Kumagai (JPN)

Trailblazers

Saki Kumagai (JPN)
@kumagai1017

One of the most consistent, hard-working and dedicated professionals in the game, Saki has incredible vision and can analyse the game as well as any midfielder in the sport. Kumagai helped inspire Japan, nicknamed the Nadeshiko, to World Cup glory in 2011, scoring the winning penalty in the final. Indeed, Kumagai is considered one of the best spot-kick takers in the world, and scored another match winning penalty in the 2016 Champions League final for Lyon. Having had an exceptional season at club level, Saki will be hoping to carry that form into the World Cup as Japan go in search of victory.

Illustration by Caitlin Cuhwald