As the world of football counts down to the reveal of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ official emblem and slogan – in Paris on 19 September – we are interviewing major figures from the women’s game about the history, the present and the future of the Women’s World Cup.
Sara Doorsoun's path into the German women's national team was certainly a circuitous one. Although she represented her country at U-15, U-17 and U-19 youth level, she only made her senior debut on 3 March 2016 under Silvia Neid at the SheBelieves Cup. The 25-year-old has been a mainstay in the side since Steffi Jones took over as Germany head coach and she also featured at the UEFA Women's EURO.
"It was a big deal for me because I'd never been at an international tournament," the midfielder told FIFA.com. "It was great to be able to spend so much time with the team and to gain so much experience. That includes seeing the other teams you don't usually get to see."
Despite Germany's elimination in the quarter-finals, Doorsoun was keen to look to the positives.
"I'm not used to defeats like that at club level," she said. "It was the first time I'd ever lost like that. It's something you need to digest and learn how to deal with. Now a few weeks have passed since then and we'll bounce back."
That attitude will be required over the coming days as the next challenge is already around the corner, with Doorsoun and Germany about to start their qualifying campaign for the Women's World Cup in 2019. Jones' charges take their first step on the road to France against Slovenia on Saturday, followed by a fixture against Czech Republic three days later.
— DFB-Frauenfußball (@DFB_Frauen) September 5, 2017
Steffi Jones announces the squad for the Women's World Cup qualifiers against Slovenia and Czech Republic.
"The quality in the squad really is very good," said Doorsoun, who has an Iranian father and a Turkish mother. "During the European Championship we did a lot of things right and we'll build on that. We've analysed the things we didn't do so well and want to change them. I think we'll still be able to play a good role.
"Other teams have closed the gap and improved things. It's not as easy to score goals anymore but we still always try to come up with solutions. I think we're on the right track and if we can play consistently we'll still get our chances. You have to give 100 per cent in every game. We don't take any opponent lightly, regardless of who we're playing."
Alongside Slovenia and Czech Republic, Germany will meet Iceland and Faroe Islands in Women's World Cup qualifying. Only the group winners are assured of an automatic berth at France 2019, while the four best runners-up will go into a play-off to determine who will secure Europe's last ticket to the tournament. As two-time world champions and having played at every edition so far, Germany are clear favourites going into their campaign.
— DFB-Frauenfußball (@DFB_Frauen) September 18, 2016
The Cologne-born midfielder, whose dream is to play in the USA one day, would also relish participating at a Women's World Cup.
"It would be a recognition of my performances and my hard work and show that's it's no coincidence that I'm involved," Doorsoun said. "I really try to soak up everything I can here and just give my best. I've always said I'll see how far things go at the end. If I'm involved in two years' time it would be amazing."
Doorsoun also already has an idea of what the participating teams and fans can look forward to at the competition.
"They'll see that every team has developed and that things have improved in terms of athleticism and tactics," she concluded. "Women's football is constantly progressing and we'll play our part in that. I think it's getting increasingly attractive in general."