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Twenty World Cup facts

There are only a couple of days to go until the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 gets underway in Germany. To get you in the mood for the big kick-off, here are 20 facts about the event.


England coach Hope Powell has also appeared for her country at
the FIFA Women's World Cup as a player.
Photo: FIFA via Getty Images

- Germany’s Birgit Prinz is the all-time leading scorer at the FIFA Women's World Cup with 14 goals in four tournaments, two ahead of USA sharp-shooter Michelle Akers on 12. Third place in the ranking is shared by Sun Wen of China PR and Germany’s Bettina Wiegmann on 11 apiece.

- Between 1995 and 2007, USA goalkeeper Briana Scurry kept a total of ten clean sheets in FIFA Women’s World Cup matches. Germany shot-stopper Nadine Angerer went through all six of her country’s matches at the 2007 finals without conceding a single goal.

- Charmaine Hooper of Canada is the oldest player to score at a FIFA Women’s World Cup. When she hit the target against China PR at the 2003 finals in USA, she was aged 35 years and 261 days.

- The newly-crowned UEFA Women’s Champions League winners, French club Olympique Lyon, are the best-represented club at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 with a contingent numbering 12 players.

- The Germany squad for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 includes four players who emerged as winners from last summer’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2010: Kim Kulig, Alexandra Popp, Bianca Schmidt and Almuth Schult. USA squad member Alex Morgan was part of her nation’s trophy-winning team at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2008.

- After losing the 1991 final to USA, 1995 world champions Norway won their next ten FIFA Women’s World Cup matches at the 1995 and 1999 editions, a streak unmatched by any other nation. Germany were poised to equal the record four years ago but were held to a goalless draw by England at the group stage.

- The FIFA Women’s World Cup has featured 44 matches pitting a team coached by a woman against one coached by a man. The women are in front with 28 wins (63.6 per cent), five draws and 11 defeats. The first victory went to Sweden’s Gunilla Paijkull in 1991.

- The women have scored more headed goals than the men at both the last two FIFA World Cups. In 2007, the women scored 18 per cent of their goals with headers, with the men just behind at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ on 17.9 per cent. In 2003, 23.3 per cent of the goals at the FIFA Women’s World Cup were headers, whereas the equivalent figure for the men in 2006 was only 18.3 per cent.

- The first hat-trick at the FIFA Women’s World Cup was scored by Italy’s Carolina Morace in her country’s 5-0 victory over Chinese Taipei on 17 November 1991. Nowadays, Morace is the Canada national coach and a FIFA women’s football ambassador.

- Six of the national coaches previously appeared at the FIFA Women’s World Cup as players: Silvia Neid (Germany), Hope Powell (England), Ngozi Uche (Nigeria), April Heinrichs (USA), Carolina Morace (Italy) and Pia Sundhage (Sweden). Furthermore, Leonardo Cuellar (Mexico) represented his country at the 1978 FIFA World Cup.

- Nadine Angerer is the most successful goalkeeper set to play at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. In her illustrious career to date, the 31-year-old already boasts 14 winners’ medals, including two world and four European championships.

- Kristine Lilly of the USA is the only player to have featured at all five FIFA Women’s World Cups to date. Her 30 appearances at the finals are also a record.

- Three goals have been scored in the first minute of matches at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The fastest of all was claimed by Sweden’s Lena Videkull against Japan in 1991, when she opened the scoring after just 30 seconds. The second-fastest goal at the tournament fell to Canada’s Melissa Tancredi, who put her side 1-0 up against Australia in 2007 with 37 seconds played. Third spot goes to USA striker Lori Chalupny, who scored against Nigeria in the same year after 54 seconds.

- USA legend Michelle Akers holds the record for the most goals in a single FIFA Women’s World Cup match with her total of five against Chinese Taipei in 1991.

- A rather exclusive group of 19 players (seven Americans and 12 Germans) have won two FIFA Women's World Cup winner's medals. Birgit Prinz is the only player to feature in a FIFA Women’s World Cup Final three times - she appeared in Germany’s 2003 and 2007 triumphs, and played the first half of the defeat to Norway in 1995.

- The USA are the leading scorers at the FIFA Women’s World Cup finals with 85 goals, one more than Germany. Overall, the 148 matches at the finals to date have produced 539 goals. The 500th goal was scored by Norway’s Ragnhild Gulbrandsen against Ghana in 2007.

- Although Germany and the USA have between them won four of the five FIFA Women’s World Cups so far, they have yet to meet in the final. The USA are the only nation to reach the semi-finals at all five previous tournaments.

- Of the nine FIFA Women’s World Cup host cities for 2011, Berlin is the only stadium yet to stage a senior women’s international fixture, although the Olympic Stadium was the venue for the final at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

- Eight teams have contested every FIFA Women’s World Cup finals: Brazil, China PR, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, Norway, Sweden and USA. Of these, only China PR will not be present at Germany 2011.

- The first goal from the penalty spot at the FIFA Women’s World Cup was scored by Germany’s Bettina Wiegmann against Chinese Taipei on 19 November 1991. Three days earlier, Norway’s Tone Haugen saw the first penalty in tournament history saved by China PR goalkeeper Zhon Honglian.

Story and photo courtesy of FIFA.com.

For more on the world game go to www.fifa.com

Updated On Friday, June 24, 2011