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The 16 Teams Left In The Women’s World Cup, Ranked By Coolness

Manuela Vanegas of Colombia celebrates after scoring her team's second goal during the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Group H match between Germany and Colombia at Sydney Football Stadium on July 30, 2023 in Sydney, Australia.
James Chance/Getty Images

With the World Cup's group stage going out in a blaze of glory, the focus now shifts to the knockout rounds and the 16 teams still in action. Thanks to upsets and shockers galore, this batch looks very different from what a pre-tournament prediction might have looked like (I can say that from personal experience, as my bracket is completely annihilated), but that has by and large infused the round of 16 with a dose of extra coolness and juice, which should make this next batch of games a delight to watch.

Still, as was the case with the men's World Cup in Qatar, not all round of 16 teams are built the same. Whereas some of the favorites played as they should have—Japan, Sweden, England, and France all took care of business—others faltered, though given the early exits for Brazil, China, and Germany, perhaps teams like the United States and Norway should be thrilled to be alive still.

And then there are the fresh faces and squads who did the most to capture the imagination. You've got Colombia (group winners over Germany, and with the coolest young player in the tournament, Linda Caicedo) and Morocco (who qualified also over Germany in the country's first World Cup; get it together, Germany). You've got South Africa, who played two of the best matches of the group stage. Jamaica somehow held both France and Brazil to 0-0 draws, just enough to qualify over the latter. I didn't even touch on Australia, who could become way cooler if Sam Kerr can return at anything close to full health, and the Netherlands, who overcame a lack of their own star striker to put up nine goals across three matches (albeit seven of those in the group finale against Vietnam). This group of qualifiers is stacked.

That all being said, let's get to the ranking of the 16 teams remaining at the Women's World Cup, based on how much ass it kicks that they are still alive for at least one more match.

1. Colombia
2. Japan
3. Spain
4. Sweden
5. Australia
6. France
7. England
8. The Netherlands
9. South Africa
10. Morocco
11. Jamaica
12. Nigeria
13. USA
14. Denmark
15. Switzerland
16. Getting hit by the realization that you will never fulfill your potential, and that the sum of your parts will always be lesser than the parts themselves
17. Norway

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