At the heart of the action as always, FIFA.com recently met up with some of the leading lights from the world of women’s football. Coaches and players alike, all have one thing in common as the clock ticks down on the start of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011™: they cannot wait for the competition to get under way.
As you will see in the extracts below, each and every one has a take on how the event will unfold. To read the full interviews, follow the links on the left side of this page.
"You always have to look out for the Americans. Their journey has been long and difficult, but that’s had a positive effect on the players. They now understand they need to make the most out of every minute on the pitch,” Mia Hamm, USA legend and integral member of the side that dominated the international scene during the 1990s.
“The Germans could suffer stage fright, particularly given all the supporters who’ll be there to encourage them. If we play well in the Opening Match, anything is possible. Germany will start as the overwhelming favourites; there’s no doubt about that. But let’s not forget that we played just as well as them during our last friendly,” Carolina Morace, Canada coach.
"I’m looking out for the USA and Brazil, but I’m wary of Nigeria as well. I know we beat them 8-0 last time out, but the Nigerians still haven’t shown the best of themselves. The chances are that they’ll have prepared well to get their revenge this summer. Canada have improved a lot in the last few years. Carolina Morace has implemented a new system and it seems to suit her team down to the ground. England have learnt a lot too recently. It would also be a mistake to ignore Norway, and we’d be wrong to take Japan and Korea DPR lightly as well,” Silvia Neid, Germany coach.
"We’re going to work hard to put [the 8-0 defeat by Germany] behind us. Lots of factors contributed to that loss. The climate affected us; it was very cold and many of our players just aren’t used to playing in such extreme conditions. Because of that, no one can blame the team or the technical staff for what happened, and you only have to look at how we played in South Africa during the last African Football Championship to see that. We were a lot better. Honestly, the climate didn’t help us at all and that’s a question of what you’re used to,” Ebere Orji, Nigeria player.
"We’re going to give everything to lift the Trophy again. Our goal is to be world champions,” Fatmire Bajramaj, Germany player.
"Brazil have shown down the years that we’ve got several talented players. We’ve reached two Olympic finals and we’ve been World Cup runners-up. It’s time for us to add our name to the list of winners in this competition,” Marta, Brazil star and five-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year.
"We’re preparing with a view to going all the way; that’s our dream. With God’s help, we’ll go far in this competition. It would be extraordinary to come up against Brazil and Marta in the Final. Victory would strengthen belief in women’s football in Colombia and – who knows? – maybe it would help me be voted World Player of the Year,” Yoreli Rincon, 17-year-old Colombia player.