The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan 2012 reached a dramatic climax in an exciting final in which USA emerged as worthy champions. In addition to the team trophy, numerous individual honours were awarded. FIFA.com spoke exclusively to several of the winners.
Dzsenifer Marozsan was given the adidas Golden Ball as best player of the tournament. Dzsenifer, you may have lost the final, but you still managed to win a trophy. Is that something you can be pleased with?
Dzsenifer Marozsan: “I wasn’t expecting it at all. You hear other people talking about how well you’re playing, but when you get something like this, it’s a big surprise. It’s a huge honour. Of course I’d have preferred to have won the World Cup and it’s a massive disappointment. We played a great tournament and one goal ruined everything. We’ll need a bit of time, but then I’ll be able to enjoy my award. We can be proud of ourselves and our displays here. We need to get over this defeat quickly and set ourselves new targets.”
As the only freshly-crowned world champion among the individual winners, USA captain Julie Johnston was handed the adidas Bronze Ball for third-best player of the tournament.
Julie Johnston: “My eyes filled up straight away and I cried a little. It was so unexpected. I was so happy with winning the World Cup and then a woman approached me and told me I’d won the Bronze Ball. I feel very honoured. I came here to play for the team. It’s just such a big surprise. Normally it’s the attacking players who get these awards, not defenders. I’m so happy and proud. It means a lot to me.”
Germany No1 Laura Benkarth kept five consecutive clean sheets before conceding her only goal of the tournament in the final. Yet that does not detract from her achievement and she was a worthy winner of the adidas Golden Glove for the competition’s best goalkeeper.
Laura Benkarth: “Obviously I’m delighted with the award, it’s a massive honour. But right now the disappointment about losing the final against USA is overwhelming. It’ll take a bit of time before I get over it.”
Hosts Japan were able to celebrate two additional honours alongside their third-placed finish. On top of the FIFA Fair Play award, Yoko Tanaka was presented with the adidas Silver Shoe as the tournament’s second-best goalscorer.
Yoko Tanaka: “I’m happy and satisfied with myself because I don’t normally get so many goals. In every game I played up front in, I was so eager to score for the team, for us to win and not to fail. I gave everything and I’m really proud of what I’ve done for myself and for the team at this tournament.”