Their sporting balance is impressive: when the final whistle went, Germany’s national women’s squad left the football pitch as winners in 235 out of 344 international matches. The team has lost only 64 games since their first international event against Switzerland in 1982. And Germany’s female footballers often reward the cheering fans with numerous goals. The team last demonstrated its unfazed scoring prowess in the World Cup friendly match against Italy. Some 12,000 fans celebrated their team’s decisive 5:0 victory.
With less than three weeks to go before the Women’s World Cup in Germany kicks off at the opening match against Canada, the German team is fighting fit. “We could become the best team in the world,” says goalie Nadine Angerer confidently. Experts also agree: the host country’s team is the biggest challenge to beat in the 2011 World Cup competition. The 21 players selected by the German Football Association (DFB) are entering the tournament as reigning world champions. After gaining the championship titles of 2003 and 2007, the team under head coach Silvia Neid could make this a third-time win and set a new world championship record.
Silvia Neid is satisfied that the team is ready to defend the title. “The team spirit is good,” says the head coach and stresses in an interview with the DFB that she doesn’t want to specify eleven fixed players for the World Cup squad at the moment: “We have so many great personalities in the team and can make tactical changes in the combination depending on our opponents.” Ms Neid’s team has enormous potential, and the head coach wants to use this versatility and flexibility in the World Cup.
She has a broad spectrum of players ranging from experienced veterans to ambitious young talents. For instance, the team captain Birgit Prinz is the backbone of the team. The name of the 33-year-old striker in shirt no. 9 is inextricably associated with women’s football in Germany. The three-time FIFA World Player of the Year and record national team player has taken part in 210 international matches since 1994 with a total of 128 goals. This year’s World Cup on home ground will mark the finish of Birgit Prinz’s international career. The next generation of players is gradually growing in the national squad. The 21-year-old striker Kim Kulig and the 23-year-old expert midfield dribbler Fatmire Bajramaj, who was in the 2007 World Cup team, are two young players who will doubtless be scoring many more goals in German women’s football to the delight and cheers of the fans.
All of the stadiums set to host matches during the FIFA Women’s World Cup have been awarded the ECOPROFIT certificate for sustainable environmental management. Within the framework of the Green Goal 2011 environmental campaign, the FIFA Women’s World Cup stadiums are doing all they can to prepare themselves for an eco-friendly tournament with the help of the ECOPROFIT project.