International matches in 2010: 512 women's and 808 men's matches
Even in the year preceding the tournament, the effect of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011 was already being felt, with a record 512 women’s matches played, more than half of which were qualifiers for the World Cup this June and July.
While the women’s game had never seen so many international matches played in one year, there was a slight decrease in the men’s game, with only 808 matches played in the year of the FIFA World Cup™, 511 of which were friendlies in preparation for the finals in South Africa. More than a quarter of all the men’s matches were intercontinental, thus underlining that football is truly a global game.
The men’s representative teams of 185 of FIFA’s 208 member associations played at least one international 'A' match, while 141 women’s representative teams also made at least one appearance – another new record. In the run-up to the Women’s World Cup in Germany, women’s football would appear to have taken another leap forward. Kuwait played the most men’s matches last year (23), while China PR were the most active women’s team (22). The average number of matches per team in the men’s game (8.7) was much lower than in the previous year, while in the women’s game it had gone up slightly (7.3).
As expected, the World Cup in South Africa made the biggest impression on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, with the most valuable matches in terms of points being Switzerland’s group-stage victory over Spain and the Netherlands’ triumph over Brazil in the quarter-finals. In women’s football, the USA’s 4-0 win in a friendly against Germany generated the most points.
Further statistics on international matches in 2010 can be found on the document listed on the right.