Kunzer: France play technically wonderful football
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.
Nia Kunzer helped Germany lift 2003 Women's World Cup trophy
Scored last ever Golden Goal in the competition
She believes France 2019 will be extremely competitive
Nia Kunzer played in four FIFA Women's World Cup™ matches and made history in the last of them by helping Germany lift the title. "The significance of a World Cup was always decisive for me," the 37-year-old told FIFA.com. "The only one I played in was in 2003 and we won the trophy there. Alongside the Olympics, I still think it's maybe the biggest competition and the biggest title in the women's game. It pits the best teams in the world together. That makes it a very, very important event."
Nia Tsholofelo Kunzer was born in Mochudi, Botswana, on 18 January 1980**
Position: Defence, defensive midfield* *
Clubs: Eintracht Wetzlar, VfB Giessen, 1. FFC Frankfurt
Honours: Seven-time German champion, seven-time German Cup winner, three-time UEFA Women's Cup winner
Participated at one Women's World Cup (USA 2003)
Scored the winner for Germany in the final against Sweden with the last ever Golden Goal
A further three Women's World Cups have been held since Kunzer's only appearance on the global stage: China PR (2007), Germany (2011) and Canada (2015). The next edition will take place in France in 2019 and it is already making its presence felt, with the official emblem to be unveiled on 19 September and the first European qualifying fixtures scheduled for 14-19 September. Kunzer already has an idea as to what kind of tournament to expect.
"I don't think there'll be much between the teams at France 2019 and the supposedly weaker sides will hold their own," she said. "We'll be able to see further progress in terms of athleticism, but I also think a lot of work will have been done on technique and tactics. France will try to win the title at home. It'll be a very exciting tournament and it remains to be seen whether the weaker teams will be able to pull off an upset or whether one of the favourites lifts the title."
Kunzer, who is also a qualified teacher, did not have the pleasure of playing at a Women's World Cup in her homeland and made her final international appearance on 15 November 2003. However, that is not to say she was absent from Germany 2011 altogether, as her first-rate expertise meant she worked as a television pundit for Germany's matches. Now a UNICEF Ambassador for the 'Galz & Girls' football project in Windhoek, Kunzer is certain that fans can look forward to a top-class tournament in 2019.
"France are really looking forward to staging the event – and for women this time," she said. "They've done a great deal at club level over the last few years, especially Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain. They've got very successful teams full of international players and they work very professionally. In technical terms, the French national team have been playing wonderful football for years. The only thing they're still missing is a major title. Everyone in France can no doubt help to make this golden generation become world champions in two years' time, just like the men were. As is usual at World Cups, I'm expecting the home crowd to give fantastic support throughout the whole tournament."
Click here for more on Nia Kunzer's Golden Goal.