25 Facts on the FIFA Women’s World Cup

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  1. Germany will become only the second European country to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup after Sweden in 1995.
  2. Unlike the Men’s World Cup a new trophy is produced for every FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament, which the winners get to keep.
  3. The FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy was designed by William Sawaya from Milanese company Sawaya & Moroni. The trophy has a marble base and the spiral and football are made of pure silver covered with 23-carat gold and white gold. It sits at 45cm high, which is nearly 10cm higher than the men’s trophy, and has a maximum width of 15cm and weighs 1.8kg. The original trophy was hand-made for the 1999 tournament. Its original value is in the region of USD 30,000.
  4. No team men’s or women’s have won three World Cups in a row; however host Germany has the chance this year having won the last two tournaments.
  5. Only three teams have won the five Women’s World Cup Tournaments, USA ’91, Norway ’95, USA ’99, and Germany, ‘03 and 07.
  6. The USA is the only country to have won on home soil so far back in 1999.
  7. Brazil, China and Sweden are the only associations to have reached the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup apart from the three world champions, Germany, the USA and Norway.
  8. Eight teams have participated in all five previous FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments: Brazil, China PR, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, Norway, Sweden and the USA. China PR will be the only one missing in Germany 2011.
  9. The number of participants in FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers has almost tripled from 45 teams in 1991 to 122 in 2011. The number of qualification matches for the FIFA Women’s World Cup has also risen considerably from 110 in 1991 to 355 in 2011.
  10. Out of the nine 2011 host stadiums in Germany only Berlin has never previously staged a women’s international “A” match.
  11. The regulation time for matches at the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup was 80 minutes – two periods of 40 minutes, the ladies have played 45 minute halves in every tournament since.
  12. The USA is the only team to have reached the semi-final of all five editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
  13. The FIFA Women’s World Cup Final in 1999 set an attendance record for a single match, when 90,185 fans turned out to watch the USA beat China PR in the final at the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles.
  14. The USA’s Kristine Lilly is the only player to have played in all five editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, not surprisingly she is also the most-capped player, having appeared in 30 matches.
  15. Michelle Akers of the USA with her five goals in the game between the USA and Chinese Taipei in 1991, is the highest goalscorer in a single match.
  16. Ifeanyi Chiejine from Nigeria is the youngest player of all time when she played against Denmark in 1999 at the tender age of 16 years and one month.
  17. Meg from Brazil, is still the oldest at 39 years and five months thanks to her appearance against Sweden in the 1991 tournament.
  18. Gunilla Paijkull became the first female to coach a Women’s World Cup team when she led Sweden to third place following their 4-1 semi-final loss to neighbours Norway in 1991.
  19. Six coaches, including three for the 2011 edition, have also previously appeared in the Women’s World Cup as players: Silvia Neid (GER) in 1991 and 1995; Hope Powell (ENG) in 1995; Ngozi Uche (NGA) in 1991; April Heinrichs (USA) in 1991; Caroline Morace (ITA) in 1991 and Pia Sundhage (SWE) in 1991 and 95. Hope Powell (ENG) will appear as England coach for the second time.
  20. China’s Ma Li scored the first goal in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in the 22nd minute of the tournament’s opening match between China and Norway on 16 November 1991.
  21. New Zealand’s Terry McCahill was the unfortunate player to first score an own goal in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. She scored put through her own net for what was the opener in Norway’s 4-0 victory over the Football Ferns on 19 November 1991.
  22. Italian Carolina Morace scored the first World Cup hat trick, when she hit the back of the net three times in the Azurre’s 5-0 victory over Chinese Taipei on 17 November 1991.
  23. Germany’s Bettina Wiegmann scored the first penalty in her team’s match against Chinese Taipei on 19 November 1991. The first penalty however was actually taken three days earlier. Norwegian Tone Haugen’s spot kick was however saved by China PR’s Zhong Honglian.
  24. Since the start of the FIFA Women’s World Cup there have been 44 head-to-heads between teams with men and women coaches. The women lead the scoreboard with 28 wins (63.6%), 5 draws and 11 defeats.
  25. Leonardo Cuellar is the only coach in the history of the FIFA Women’s World Cup to have also played in the men’s tournament. He played as a midfielder for Mexico in three matches of the 1978 FIFA World Cup in Argentina.

Facts courtesy of FIFA.