Women's football: the year in images
© Action Images

In 2010 women's football continued to grow in popularity, generating record numbers of spectators, upsets galore and a host of emerging talents. The men may have left their mark on 2010, but the women were just as active throughout the year. The two showpiece events, the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Germany and the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago, proved resounding successes and left fans hungry for more – which is perfect timing with the FIFA Women's World Cup™ coming up this year.

All the drama and magic has been captured by FIFA.com, so why not browse through the pick of the images and relive the best of the women’s game in 2010.

Germany enjoys second summer of love
A tournament-record 395,295 spectators watched the 32 matches at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Germany, proving once again that the women’s game enjoys enormous popularity in the home of the reigning world champions. The hosts added the U-20 title to their senior crown in impressive fashion, with Maren Meinert's charges defeating Nigeria 2-0 in front of 24,633 spectators in Bielefeld.

The star of Germany 2010 was without doubt Alexandra Popp. The 19-year-old shone in front of her home crowds, scoring no fewer than ten goals to secure the adidas Golden Boot as the tournament's top scorer and adidas Golden Ball for best player. Other players to leave their mark at the event included Ji So-Yun (Korea Republic), Rosie White (New Zealand), Yorely Rincon (Colombia) Sydney Leroux (USA), Kim Kulig (Germany), Antonia Goransson (Sweden) and Bianca Henninger (USA).

U-17s show off their skills
The FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Trinidad and Tobago 2010 was dominated by Asian teams, and history was made when three countries from the Far East made it through to the semi-finals. Korea Republic, Japan and Korea DPR played some mature, disciplined football complemented by sparks of individual talent and creativity. Yeo Min-Ji (Korea Republic), Kyra Malinowski (Germany) and Kumi Yokoyama (Japan) all look set to become stars in their respective countries.

Gold medal for Chile
The first ever Youth Olympic Games were held from 12-26 August in Singapore and provided a 13-day festival of football. The Jalan Besar Stadium saw representatives of each of the six continental federations – both boys and girls – playing for Olympic gold. Chile won top honours in the girls' tournament, defeating Equatorial Guinea 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out after the final finished 1-1.

Star-studded draw in Frankfurt
In December, all eyes in the footballing world were on a wintry Frankfurt, when the Official Draw for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 Germany was held in the city's Congress Center. More than 600 guests and some 200 media representatives attended the glamorous ceremony. German midfield legend Gunter Netzer and women's football ambassador and supermodel Adriana Karembeu conducted the draw, which threw up some mouth-watering ties between the 16 participating nations as early as the group stages. Fans around the world can now begin counting down in earnest, with the tournament set to run from 26 June-17 July 2011.