By the time Spain hoisted the championship trophy Aug. 20 at the 2023 FIFA Womens’ World Cup, the individual awards had already been handed out, save for one, the most coveted honor.
The Golden Boot, given to the tournament’s top goal-scorer, was not awarded because its recipient had already gone home.
With her team ousted in a quarterfinals loss to Sweden, Hinata Miyazawa had left for Japan, after scoring five goals in the tournament.
Miyazawa, 23, scored four in Japan’s opening three games and then one more in the round of 16. Four other players – Kadidiatou Diani of France, Alexandra Popp of Germany, Jill Roord of Netherlands and Amanda Ilestedt of Sweden – each netted four goals during the tournament.
Miyazawa is the second player from Japan to earn the Golden Boot. Homare Sawa took home the honor following her nation’s World Cup championship in 2011.
Spain rebounded from being blanked 4-0 by Japan in the group stage to win this year’s tournament with a 1-0 victory over England.
– Mikey Hirano Culross