At a press conference ahead of the FIFA World Player Gala 2006, The three contenders for FIFA Women's World Player of the Year were announced. Hear what they had to say...

Kristine Lilly (USA)
I'm very excited to be here. It's great for women's soccer, for us to be recognised like this, and personally it's great just to be a part of the night. I feel that I'm a representative of my team, and what my team has done, and I have to admit that it feels a little different without other players around. It's an honour to be here with  these two players , whoever wins,

On her plans for the future
I do plan to play on through  next year's World Cup . My team has just qualified, we're all very excited about it, and on a personal level I'm just taking it one year at a time. China was the starting point of my international career and I'm now in my 20th year with the US team, so it's nice to be returning there and to go full circle if you like. I also know China is going to put on a great show.

On the development of women's football
You always want things to move faster on the women's side, but it is a process and during my time in the game, the changes have been incredible. Women's soccer is really making its way in the US, there are more games on TV than ever, and our goal has to be to keep promoting the game in whatever way we can and show people how great it is. That's the way I look at it: I'm promoting soccer, not just the women's game, and it's a beautiful game whatever way you look at it. 

Renate Lingor (Germany)
Of course I'm very proud and very happy to be here today. I'm excited and nervous, looking forward to the evening, but whatever happens, I'm just glad that I'm here to represent my team, my club and my colleagues from the national team.

It is an entirely new experience for me and I feel a little bit alone because I don't have my colleagues with me. We have achieved a lot, but always as a team. Birgit (Prinz) has gone through this several times, but it is something new for me. Nonetheless, I am certainly looking forward to it.

On the development of women's football
The game is certainly more athletic and it's great to see women's football gain a lot more recognition. I am lucky because we in Germany have a super (federation) president who does a lot and promotes youth, which in my opinion is the only way you can go. The game is getting better all the time. 

Marta (Brazil)
I'm very happy to be here for third time. Of course my thoughts are of winning, but just to be here is already a huge victory and I'm really happy. Am I going to win? It's indeed a tough question, but I prefer to wait and find out myself.

On playing her club football in Sweden
I play in the national team, but you must take into account there is not much interest in women's football in Brazil for the time being. Perhaps the CBF should speak to the clubs about forming a league in Brazil, I don't know.

On whether she feels any pressure, being the youngest of the contenders
I don't feel much pressure, I just want to keep playing at my level and live up to the standards required of these events. It is a matter of pride for me that I'm here. My career has been a fantastic story and I just want to go on living this story for many years and learn from these great girls.