Sunday's final showdown at the Shanghai Hongkou Football
Stadium promises to be nothing short of spectacular. Both sides are
aiming to make history, with the brilliant Brazilians intent on
claiming the biggest prize in the women's game for the first
time, while Germany attempt to complete the first successful title
defence in the history of this tournament.
Germany - Brazil, Shanghai, Sunday 30 September, 20:00 (local time)
Reigning European and world champions Germany are not about to loosen their grip on the crown without a fight. Yet to concede a single goal in five matches, with keeper Nadine Angerer in superb form, the German juggernaut has been unstoppable, chalking up the small matter of 19 goals at the other end against their shell-shocked opponents.
Silvia Neid's charges are hoping to maintain their momentum
and become the first side to defend the world title, an achievement
that would see them join USA as two-time champions. Blocking their
path, however, are FIFA Women's World Cup Final debutants
Brazil, who have already bettered their previous best finish of
third place at USA 99. As if the stakes were not already high
enough in Sunday's tantalising clash, in-form sharpshooters
Birgit Prinz and Marta will go head-to-head in a duel to decide who
takes the individual honours at China 2007.
Germany's 19-year-old midfielder Fatmire Bajramaj is on standby to replace Melanie Behringer, who is struggling with a thigh injury. The Brazilians have a clean bill of health meanwhile.
The two sides have met six times at full international level and it is advantage Germany with three wins and two draws to date. Two of those clashes have come in the first round of the FIFA Women's World Cup, the Europeans prevailing 6-1 at Sweden 1995 before sharing six goals with the South Americans in a thrilling draw at USA 1999.
The birthday girl
Germany's Kerstin Stegemann turns 30 on the eve of the game and the defender will doubtless be hoping that Sunday brings the best possible belated birthday present.
First things first, there's no way we can match the Brazilians player for player. What we need to do is give them as little space as possible and make sure we have a numerical advantage in every situation. I think we can beat them if we can do that - Silvia Neid, Germany coach
This is such a special game. It's a final after all. Germany are a very strong team, very powerful. We're full of confidence though, and in finals it's always the team that makes the fewest mistakes that comes out on top. I hope we can produce our very best football and that the Germans are right on form as well. It would be great if we could put on a wonderful finale for the Chinese people - Jorge Barcellos, Brazil coach