June 29th, 2011
04:11 PM ET

Who will star at the women's World Cup?

Birgit Prinz's goals could fire host-nation Germany to World Cup glory.
Birgit Prinz's goals could fire host-nation Germany to World Cup glory.
Some of you will scoff when I suggest you watch the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Of course, the women’s game is slower than the men’s, and less physical overall, but it isn’t any less attacking or for that matter entertaining and there will be plenty of goals (check out Monica Ocampo’s long-range strike against England).

Plus, as an added bonus, there won’t be nearly so much feigning of injury and time wasting - and if all that doesn’t get you to watch, I don’t know what will! I promise you the showpiece in Germany will surprise you, if you just give it a chance.

You’ve probably heard of Marta - the 5-time FIFA player of the year who has been nicknamed “Pele in a skirt” - and all-time leading World Cup scorer Birgit Prinz of Germany, but there are plenty of other world-class stars involved.

Brazil also has Cristiane who, along with Marta, forms the best strike partnership at the World Cup. Coming into Germany, Cristiane scored 31 goals in 44 international appearances.

The dynamic duo will be hard to stop as Brazil try to win the title for the first time.

The U.S., two-time champions, is the top-ranked team and, along with Germany and Brazil, are the favorites. Pia Sundhage’s side arguably has the best goalkeeper at the tournament in Hope Solo.

Sweden will put their faith in forward Lotta Schelin, who scored twice in the 2007 World Cup, while veteran goal-machine Christine Sinclair is Canada’s stand-out player.

The Japanese player to watch is, still, Homare Sawa, who is playing in her fifth World Cup - but Ava Miyama might just overshadow her in Germany.

England’s key player is Kelly Smith, who has battled back from injury and personal problems to lead Hope Powell’s team, while captain Faye White is a towering presence at the back.

Mexico have the fantastic Maribel Dominguez skippering them and 17-year-old Yoreli Rincon is likely to make some noise for debutants Colombia, while Cecilie Pederson is Norway’s player to watch.

And then there’s the number 10 from surprise package Equatorial Guinea - Anonman, who shocked Norway with her skill and pace in their opening group ‘D’ match. She’s easy to recognize because of the green stripes in her hair. Go on, take a look, this girl is really special. Just like Marta.

The smart money is on Germany to win. Not only are they the hosts, but they’ve also won the World Cup on the last two occasions and in sharp-shooter Prinz they have a real leader, but I have a feeling Marta and Brazil will be lifting the trophy at the end of the 16-team, three-week tournament.

It’s going to be fun to watch!

Posted by ,
Filed under:  Football
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Anastasia

    Lookin for a club 2 play in

    June 29, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Reply
  2. BML

    If only CNN would actually give the Women's World Cup more coverage!!!

    June 30, 2011 at 7:50 am | Reply
  3. L. Geary

    Candy: Your article is a good quick reference to who's on top of the game and who might take the cup. No need, though, to sound apologetic on behalf of women for being who they are (and not male) in world cup sports.

    The athletes on each of the teams in this World Cup are showing some beautiful ball handling skills..So, for me, it's not about measurable speed differentials between females and males on the pitch. It's about the cosmic quality of good sportsmanship, fair play, and amazing skill no matter which gender is playing.

    Remember too, this is a Cup the kids are watching. You don't have to sell them on the gender thing. It's just about the game.

    June 30, 2011 at 8:51 am | Reply
  4. Footie fan

    Having watched the first game my opinion on women's football has changed: it is definitely not the slow boring sport that I once thought, and the lack of diving that features in all men's games (particularly by the Italians and Spanish) is worth noting.

    June 30, 2011 at 11:57 am | Reply
  5. Christof

    And not to forget France with Lyon's Louisa Nessib. Very impressing last game!

    July 1, 2011 at 6:07 am | Reply
  6. Prince lebari

    Hi Candy, Unarguably Marta is d Best female Footballer in d World, but presently Popp of Germany is d Special star wrecker 2 watch in Germany 2011 Women World Cup,she is gifted fast n dangerous than danger, give her some time she will surpass Mata of Brazil.she gat sense of precision 4 goal.Cheers Prince Lebari 4 Port-Harcourt,Rivers State Nigeria

    July 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  7. kentsailer

    Typical "jump on the bandwagon of the favorite" like that I am safe. Well Germany is out – Brazil is out – England is out. So now can you take a chance and predict who will win? Japan. Sweden, France or the US. Let's see 3 out of the four were not even mentioned by you as possible winners. That's a pretty poor record. Don't worry, even though you know nothing of women's soccer in the world other than knowing – Brazil, Germany and the US. you will still be able to fake it.
    The winner of US (vs) France will win.

    July 12, 2011 at 3:38 am | Reply
  8. Staci

    It is disgusting there is NO coverage on CNN.COM of the WM Woman´s soccer matches. And WHO cares about Marta? What about our team of players?! AS far as the Woman verses the Men, the woman play better then the men and are more interesting to watch.

    I am american living in Germany, HERE they know how to treat the woman soccer team, all of Europe does for that matter!

    July 13, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  9. Tak

    Hello Candy from Tokyo Japan! How do you like Nadeshiko Japan? I am totally surprised and proud of their performance and will be rooting and praying for their victory over the United States!

    July 14, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  10. William Alber

    Please USA win Japan at the Womans soccer final. because USA are non title a Golf and Tennis. Be champion and take title a soccer. From Japan root for your team.

    July 17, 2011 at 12:36 am | Reply
  11. Fredrik

    Not very spot on are you...!?
    A lot of safe bets.
    Japan takes the gold. US the silver and Sweden the bronze.

    July 17, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Reply
  12. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    Congratulations to Japan, US and Sweden for the podium finish.

    July 29, 2011 at 8:54 am | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.