The eighth edition of the Women’s World Cup kicks off on Friday. 24 teams will battle to be crowned world champions at the tournament in France. Germany’s campaign begins on Saturday against China. DFB.de rounds up some of the most interesting facts ahead of the summer’s tournament.
World Cup overview: The tournament takes place between 7th June and 7th July and, for the second time running, 24 teams will be competing for the title split into six groups of four. The top two from each group will progress to the last 16, as well as the four best third-place teams. A total 52 games will be contested across nine host cities: Paris, Lyon, Montpellier, Nice, Rennes, Le Havre, Grenoble, Reims and Valenciennes. The opening game between France and South Korea takes place at the Parc des Princes stadium, while the final will be played at Parc Olympique Lyonnais.
Newcomers and old timers: There are four debutants at the tournament: Scotland, Chile, Jamaica and South Africa, while Germany, USA, Norway, Japan, Sweden, Brazil and Norway have featured at all previous seven World Cups.
The Road to France: Germany qualified convincingly with seven wins and 21 points from their eight games. Both their attacking and defensive qualities were on display, scoring 38 goals and conceding just three. No side could boast a better record.
Record winners: The USA have been crowned world champions three times: in 1991, 1999 and 2015. Germany have won it twice, however, and are the only side to win it back-to-back (2003 and 2007). Germany’s three final appearances is bettered only by the USA (4).
World Cup experience: Eight players in Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s squad were involved at the 2015 World Cup in Canada. Alexandra Popp played in all seven of Germany’s games four years ago, while Leonie Maier, Sara Däbritz, Lena Goeßling, Melanie Leupolz and Dzsenifer Marozsan also all featured. Only the two goalkeepers Almuth Schult and Laura Benkarth failed to make an appearance as back-ups for Nadine Angerer.
Youngest German team: In 2015, five Germany players had more than 100 international appearances, yet this time only Lena Goeßling has reached that figure (104). Furthermore, Goeßling and Verena Schweers will be the only members of the squad over 30. 18-year-old Lena Sophie Oberdorg and 19-year-old Klara Bühl are the youngest players in the team.
Seven from Bayern: Seven players play their club football for FC Bayern München – runners up in their league this season – to make up the largest block from a single club in the squad. SGS Essen have five players represented, while champions VfL Wolfsburg have four. In addition, Carolin Simon and Dzsenifer Marozsan play for treble winners Olympique Lyon.
Germany’s World Cup records: Birgit Prinz and Nadine Angerer are the only Germany players to take part in five World Cups. Prinz made 24 appearances making her the all-time German record appearance holder, while her 14 goals is bettered only by Brazilian superstar Martha in the all-time top scorer charts. Prinz also shares the German record for having scored the most goal in a single tournament (7) with the recently-passed Heidi Mohr, and is also the only player to play in three World Cup finals (1995, 2003, 2007). Goalkeeper Nadine Angerer went 622 minutes without conceding at the 2007 and 2011 World Cups – a tournament record. She didn’t concede a single goal in the 2007 tournament – also a World Cup record.
Seventh World Cup: Brazil’s Formiga is set to appear at her seventh World Cup. The 41-year-old from PSG player thus sets a new record for appearing at the most tournaments, a record she previously shared with Japan’s retired Homare Sawa. When Formiga played her first World Cup match on 7th June 1995, 150 of the players at this year’s tournament weren’t even born yet.
Germany versus USA: To win the World Cup, you almost certainly need to beat either Germany or the USA, as every final has featured at least one of the two sides. Curiously, however, the two sides have never met in the tournament. The two sides lead the way in terms of appearances and goals: USA (43 games, 112 goals) and Germany (39 games, 111 goals).
The hosts: France qualified automatically as hosts and thus feature in a third consecutive World Cup for the first time. They came fourth in 2011 – their best performance yet – but head coach Corinne Diacre is targeting nothing less than a win. Les Bleues are ranked fourth in the world, while Germany are second.