The FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ is about to begin. Just like the fans, the players can hardly wait to get the ball rolling after anticipating this moment for the last four years and have spent most of the past 12 months preparing themselves for this global showdown.
Having spoken to many of the biggest names in women’s football during that time, FIFA.com brings you a round-up of some of the most memorable quotes from our exclusive interviews.
“He said, ‘You made the team!' My jaw just dropped and I burst out into tears; I was literally shocked. It’s going to be super emotional for me when I’m in Edmonton. I have played in the Commonwealth Stadium before, but there were probably one hundred people in the stands. With 60,000 people there it will be like a dream come true.”
Canada’s Selenia Iacchelli on her unexpected World Cup call-up
"I might be slightly nervous beforehand, but I like to go into matches confidently and enjoy my game. I really want to achieve more at my second World Cup. That’s the big goal now.”
Park Eunsun on returning to the World Cup stage with Korea Republic after a 12-year absence
“Expectations are always sky high when you coach the German women’s national team. It’s simply a fact that Germany will always be among the favourites at any tournament, but with two World Cups, eight European titles and three Olympic bronze medals, we’ve earned those expectations. In light of that, I’m glad we’re considered favourites.”
Germany coach Silvia Neid
“I don’t want to come across as overconfident, but I do think we can win the tournament. We have a nice mix of styles – we can pass the ball around really well, but we’re also good in the air. We’ve got pace and a physical presence, and we’ve shown that we can play intelligently when need be.”
Left-back Amel Majri on France’s strengths
“Playing at a World Cup is always the greatest thing you can do in football – that’s why we’re all proud to be here and want to enjoy the competition.”
Germany’s star striker Celia Sasic.
“We know we’re underdogs in this group, so we have nothing to lose. As we are representing Thailand, our target is to qualify for the next round, but if we cannot be first or second in the group we will do our best to progress as one of the best third-placed teams.”
Taneekarn Dangda is keen to spring a surprise with Thailand
“She’s a great loss, a world-class player. Whenever you needed something extra-special, Kelly was there to give it. She was a unique talent, though we do have other options now.”
England defender Casey Stoney on Kelly Smith’s retirement from international football
“I think I have a better team now than I did in 2011. But the truth is that many other international sides have also greatly improved the level of their football. I believe the Nadeshiko is continuing to develop, and I’m looking forward to seeing how we perform against these other teams. Since we triumphed at the 2011 World Cup, the whole of Japan is watching us and there is a feeling of expectation that we should win this time."
Norio Sasaki, coach of reigning champions Japan
“We have a lot of great up-and-coming players like Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux or Christen Press. I’m very focused on our forward line. I’m the older player, kind of the mother, so to speak. I’m trying to get them all as confident as possible.”
USA striker and record goalscorer Abby Wambach
“I think and hope that there’ll be a lot of spectators there and that there’ll be a fantastic atmosphere. Games like that are the reason you play football in the first place. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Vivianne Miedema fired the Netherlands to Canada almost single-handedly and is excited by the prospect of playing against the hosts