Women's football in Germany boasts an unparalleled record of success, achieved in a remarkably short space of time. The women's game was only officially incorporated in the German Football Association (DFB) statutes in 1970 and the national team contested its inaugural international as recently as 1982. Since then however, Germany have gone on to win the most important trophies in the world game, the FIFA Women's World Cup and the European Championship, a total of nine times.
Back-to-back FIFA Women's World Cup triumphs in 2003 and 2007 head up a glittering honours collection. The Germans had previously come off second best at the 1995 finals in Sweden, losing 2-0 to Norway in the Final, but eight years later, coach Tina Theune-Meyer and her troops were destined to go one better.
Unforgettable scenes of elation and joy greeted Nia Kunzer's Golden Goal to defeat Sweden 2-1 in the 2003 Final in Carson City. German fans will never forget the jubilation at the final whistle and the euphoric celebrations as captain Bettina Wiegmann received the trophy. Twelve million watched the Final on TV in Germany, and a crowd of 10,000 packed the Römer square in Frankfurt to greet the world champions on their return from the USA.
Germany went on to defend the trophy with a 2-0 victory over Brazil in the 2007 Final in Shanghai, cementing their reputation as the current giants of the global women's game and achieving the remarkable feat of conceding no goals at all at the finals. The ecstatic throng in Frankfurt numbered 20,000 this time when the team coached by Silvia Neid returned from China after their second world triumph.
Germany also claimed the 2005 and 2009 European Championship. That is a unique record of success, and the first victory perhaps remains the most memorable. In an extraordinary final, the Germans defeated Norway 4-1 in front of a rapturous 22,000 full house at the Bremer Brucke stadium in Osnabruck. The nail-biting semi-final against Italy, won 5-4 on penalties by the Germans, was the first women's international to be shown live on national TV.
Nowadays, the outside broadcast cameras are present at all Germany internationals. That naturally includes the Olympic football tournament, where Germany claimed bronze at the 2000 games in Sydney, the 2004 event in Athens and the 2008 games in Beijing. The junior section has been busily amassing honours too, claiming gold at the FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship Thailand 2004, collecting the European U-19 trophy in 2007, 2006, 2002, 2001 and 2000, as well as the European U-17 title in 2008.