There were plenty of highlights in women’s football in 2012 and FIFA.com was on hand to offer extensive coverage of them all: from the three major tournaments that provided unforgettable moments, to Marta, Lotta Schelin and Co lighting up the scene at club level. Once again countless big names took time out for exclusive interviews in 2012, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at the women’s game.
FIFA.com rounds up the best and most entertaining soundbites from 2012, so sit back and enjoy our yearly review with a twist.
"I'm a small peddler of dreams who does his best to train and inspire people,” France coach Bruno Bini shows his modest side in interview with FIFA.com.
“I’m looking forward to the time ahead. It’ll be a new experience altogether being able to relax and watch the women’s EURO on television or live in the stadium," Germany’s Inka Grings on the UEFA Women’s EURO 2013, at which she will not be participating.
"Winning the title changed everything. There's a lot more interest from the media and many more women are coming to games and getting involved themselves. We used to be happy if 1,000 came to watch a league match beforethe World Cup. These days it's not unusual to have 10,000 turn up, sometimes even 20,000 – it's incredible," Japan international Kozue Ando on the changes in her homeland after becoming world champions.
“There are good players here too and I have some of them in my team. There’s a lot of potential in Russia and it hasn’t been exhausted yet, not by a long way. It’s a sleeping giant,” FC Rossiyanka coach Achim Feifel.
"I’ve been through a lot of things in my personal and family life. That turned me into a fighter. To be honest, I welcome those hardships. I don’t fear them. I face them head-on and try to become a better person,” USA goalkeeper Hope Solo on coping with hard times.
“In Arab societies, everyone regards football as a man’s game. It’s not like Europe, where a lot of attention is given to women’s football,” Lebanon futsal international Darine Fakhreddine on the women’s game in her homeland.
“I suppose it would have to be working with Christine Sinclair,” Canada coach John Herdman on the highlight of his year.
“When you have a second child, you want to get back in shape,” Norway international Solveig Gulbrandsen explains her reasons behind taking up football again.
“It was really wonderful tournament indeed. We played at Wembley, which is England’s best football stadium, which was also a wonderful experience. I was impressed by the British people, who showed they have a deep understanding of football," Japan coach Norio Sasaki on the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament at London 2012.
“The plan is to win the trophy," Canada international Christine Sinclair is already looking forward to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015™.
“I spent a lot of time looking at the goalkeepers at EURO 2012, like [Iker] Casillas and [Gianluigi] Buffon. I was also really interested in how [Manuel] Neuer handled the game, as he seems like an innovative guy. You can learn a lot by studying others,” Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl on her male counterparts.
“We never think about giving up or letting our heads hang. That’s just not our way,” Germany international Alexandra Popp shows her determination in interview with FIFA.com.
“You really have to be smart and make the right decisions, so that the people who come behind you have a better chance than you had. That was my goal when I first signed on and became a women’s national team player - to hopefully leave the game better than I found it,” USA international Abby Wambach on being a role model.