Hamm, Prinz and Co: Pioneers in profile

Did you know that one of the best female footballers of the past century hails from China PR, or that another Brazilian woman captivated the world with a ball at her feet even before Marta? Would you have guessed that in Italy, one footballer is among the most famous women in her nation's history, and that one particularly gifted striker has been honoured with her own stamp in Sweden?

When the eagerly awaited FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ gets underway on 6 June, a multitude of hopeful stars will set their sights on the coveted trophy as the competition is contested by 24 teams for the first time. Idols such as Abby Wambach and Hope Solo of Olympic champions USA, Celia Sasic and Nadine Angerer from the world’s number one team Germany, defending champions Japan’s Homare Sawa and Aya Miyama and intricate Brazilian technician Marta are all determined to make history and emulate the legends of their sport in the process.

The sport has been shaped by icons such as Sun Wen, Sissi, Carolina Morace and Hanna Ljungberg as well as record holders, world champions and role models like Mia Hamm and Birgit Prinz or Michelle Akers, Hege Riise and Doris Fitschen. These players made women’s football popular in every corner of the globe and thus laid a foundation for the phenomenal rise of the female side of the beautiful game.

FIFA.com is now giving you the opportunity to learn all about the unforgettable pioneers of women’s football. Click through our fascinating Classic Players section in their new home on the Canada 2015 page and read the impressive profiles of great players whose careers have now drawn to a close.

**Your opinion counts **Which other retired stars of women’s football do you think should be included in our collection of profiles? Write a comment below and discuss your suggestions with fans from across the globe.