As it happens, “Taller, bigger and faster!" is not Frankfurt’s official motto, but a newcomer to the banking and finance metropolis on the River Main might think it ought to be. Some of the tallest skyscrapers in Europe characterise the skyline, the streets in the compact centre are a hive of bustle and activity, and evidence of the city’s varied and thoroughly multicultural population is to be seen everywhere.
However, fittingly for such an important communications and transport hub, Germany’s fifth-largest city is also known for the warm welcome it extends to visitors. Next Monday, Frankfurt again opens her doors to the world, as the eyes of the global footballing family turn to the Congress Center and the Official Draw for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 at 19.00 CET.
Pride and passion in Prinz’s home town
"You sense how much people are looking forward to the World Cup. Some 350,000 tickets have already been sold – and that's before anybody knows who’s playing whom," remarked Germany captain Birgit Prinz.
The Frankfurt-born striker has been named FIFA World Player of the Year three times, and is thrilled at the prospect of entertaining the crowds in her home town, which will also stage next summer’s Final on 17 July 2011: "The support has been tremendous at recent matches. 45,000 came to our game with Brazil in Frankfurt, and it was 30,000 for the USA match in Augsburg. Not so very long ago, figures like that would have been beyond our wildest dreams."
Host of stars and VIPs
FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter will also attend next Monday’s Official Draw, where representatives of the 16-strong starting field will finally learn the identity of their group-stage opponents. FIFA’s Head of Women’s Competitions Tatjana Haenni will present and supervise the draw, with goalkeeping legend Oliver Kahn and top model and women’s football ambassador Adriana Karembeu making the draw itself. German pop-rock combo Wir sind Helden top the bill in a glittering and glamorous 45-minute show.
"The draw marks the start of the countdown to the kick-off of the Women’s World Cup," said Blatter, while the city itself, home to Germany’s most successful women’s club FFC Frankfurt, is already abuzz with excitement in the build-up to the event. OC President Steffi Jones, also a native of the city, expects to welcome more than 600 guests and some 200 media representatives from all over the world.
The capital of the women’s game
The people of Frankfurt are well-informed about the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 and Monday’s draw, partly thanks to an extensive and colourful poster and tram advertising campaign. The women’s game is the centre of attention at present and, as you would expect, FIFA.com is in the thick of things.
We will provide our users and visitors to the official FIFA website with up-to-date coverage of events, with comprehensive news, previews and interviews. The draw itself will be streamed live on FIFA.com from 19.45 CET onwards and is available worldwide, except for the USA and Germany. And afterwards, we looking forward to hearing your views, opinions and analyses in our popular Have Your Say feature.