Any look at the night sky will tell you that some stars shine brighter than others, and the same could well be said for the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2008. Ralf Peter's Germany side have been the most rounded team on show here in New Zealand, a well-oiled footballing machine endowed with defensive solidity, tactical nous and excellent technique. Leading the Mannschaft charge has been the outrageously gifted Dzsenifer Marozsan, whose six goals in four games so far put her well in contention for the competition's best player and top scorer awards.
On the back of another barnstorming display against quarter-final opponents Canada, and while draped in a German flag, the modest starlet ensured the focus stayed on the team rather than her own performance. "I'm very happy with the way I played, but I'm especially proud of having helped the team to reach the next round," she told FIFA.com. "It's a wonderful feeling to see everyone in the dugout jumping for joy."
Elegance and efficiency
Marozsan contributed two of the Germans' three goals against a hard-working Canada side, the brace of well-taken strikes perfectly illustrating the young forward's abundant technical ability. After controlling the ball instantly, the Saarbrucken attacker used her quick feet to slip her markers before thumping the ball past the Canucks' highly regarded keeper Genevieve Richard.
A blend of elegant skill and lethal finishing has become the hallmark of the Germany No10 here at New Zealand, from her exquisite volleyed lob against Costa Rica through to the sparkling double against the Canadians - via a stunning goal direct from a corner against Ghana. "I wouldn't be able to say which was my favourite," says the girl of the moment. "But the first goal was definitely the most important; that helped lay the foundations for our good campaign so far."
Nor is Marozsan's game all about goals. A textbook team player, the forward is a dead-ball expert, drops deep to bring colleagues into play and is always looking to create opportunities for fellow front-runners Tabea Kemme and Alexandra Popp. "We can find each other with our eyes closed and when one of us has the ball we know exactly what the other two are going to do," she reveals. "We've been working together for more than three and a half years and we know each other perfectly. I'm pleased that all that work is now bearing fruit."
Room for improvement
"And above everything else, we've got a good coach who knows how to get us to play together," adds Marozsan with a smile as supremo Ralf Peter moves within earshot. "She's incredibly talented and has all the ingredients to become one of the best players on the planet within the next few years," says the coach who has guided Germany into the last four here in New Zealand on top of winning this year's UEFA European Women's U-17 Championship.
"She's only 16 years old and can only improve. To do so, she must keep working hard and not rest on her laurels or rely on her natural ability. But she's aware of that and so I've no worries on that score."
High praise indeed, but the young goal-getter is keeping her feet firmly on the ground, even with the chance to claim a FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup winners' medal a mere two matches away: "I'm totally focused on our semi-final. I'm not even thinking about anything else." Incredibly talented and humble to boot, can anything stop Dzsenifer Marozsan's rise to the very top of the women's game?