Sun Wen was born on 6 April 1973 in Shanghai. While she is popular across the board it is true to say that only her opponents on the pitch are less than enamoured with the all-round attacker. Whether playing as a forward or in midfield, Sun Wen invariably steals the show. As US coach Tony DiCicco remarked before the 1999 Women's World Cup final, "she has a good eye for the game and she reads it like no-one else I’ve seen. She creates openings for her teammates, makes intelligent passes, is hits the target when shooting at goal – to put it simply, she is world class." Today, DiCicco is the commissioner of the US women’s professional league, WUSA.

Sun Wen is a quiet and friendly person who is interesting in many ways. To relax, she enjoys walking, fishing, reading and visiting museums. Sun Wen’s hobbies also include literature and painting, and she has been known to write poetry. But Sun Wen enjoys laughing too. On arrival at her new club, US team Atlanta Beat, she quickly earned herself the nickname "Sunny".

Playing with Atlanta, the 28-year-old came second in the US championship. However, she missed most of the season as the result of a knee operation that she had undergone in 2000, and an ankle injury incurred in June 2001. Despite this, she was still Atlanta’s star. True to form, Sun Wen managed to make two magnificent goal-clinching passes in the brief 16 minutes that she played against Washington Freedom. Atlanta subsequently won the match and a place in the final.

In China Sun Wen, who together with Michelle Akers (USA) was last year chosen as FIFA Women’s Player of the Century, starred for the Shanghai TV team, sponsored by the TV channel of the same name, and with whom she has been regional champion seven times in succession since 1994. Until last year, Sun Wen also presented a number of game shows and talk shows on cable channel, Shanghai TV.

 

Sun Wen’s father is still his daughter's biggest fan. He used to play football himself and he has always encouraged her with her game.

Since her debut for the national side in 1991, Sun Wen has maintained her status as continental champion. She has notched up over 50 goals in 135 matches (15th place in the FIFA rankings).

On the international stage, Sun Wen's greatest achievements are second place in the 1999 Women's World Cup in the USA, and a silver medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. At the 1999 World Cup she was top goal-scorer and was distinguished by FIFA as Player of the Tournament. She received the prize for highest goal-scorer again at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, even though China failed to make it past the qualifying round. 2003 will see China hosting the FIFA Women's World Cup, which should mark the pinnacle of Sun Wen’s footballing career.