Whether hosting Shanghai chat shows, going fishing or writing literature, Sun Wen excels in most things. But it is on the green grass where China's Sun really sparkles and with her dribbling and passing she brings poetry to the women's game. 2002 was no exception and, although slowed by injury, the Atlanta Beat star was able to write another beautiful chapter into an already full football biography.

Sun Wen, who was chosen together with Michelle Akers (USA) as FIFA Women's Player of the Century, has graced the international stage for many years with her composure on the ball, speed off the mark and eye for goal. But perhaps more than that, it is Sunny's clear joy of the game that has endeared her to both players and public alike.

Throughout her career, the midfielder has worn a smile on her face. Of course, she has much to be happy about. Wen was top goalscorer and player of the tournament as China finished runners-up at the FIFA Women's World Cup USA 1999. She also helped her country to a silver medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. The player, standing at 5ft 4in, followed that up with the prize for highest goalscorer at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, even though China failed to make it past the qualifying round.

Since debuting in 1991, the 29-year-old has scored more than 50 international goals in well over a century of appearances and has often been the thorn in her opponents? side.

"She is very, very good," said U.S. central defender Carla Overbeck. "She's a very smart player. She can run at our defence and cause us problems. She can make runs off the ball that are tactically at a high level so that she runs in behind us or makes diagonal runs. She does it all and always seems to find a seam in the boxes, and her team-mates find her there. She's a very sophisticated player."

Then US coach, Tony DiCicco, also paid Wen the highest compliments 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," he said. "She creates openings for her teammates, makes intelligent passes, hits the target when shooting at goal - to put it simply, she is world class."

This year however, with China pre-qualified as hosts of the next women?s finals, Sunny has taken a break from the national team. After six years of staggering success with the Shanghai women's soccer club, she moved to the American WUSA league two years ago and has made an instant impression. Despite lingering injuries, it is no surprise that the best results of her club, Atlanta, have coincided with Sunny?s starting appearances for the Beat

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".

On December 17, she will go up against America's Mia Hamm and Germany's Birgit Prinz for the FIFA World Player of the Year award.