Team profile: Germany
Coach: Silvia Neid is the mastermind behind Germany's dominance of the women's game. Promoted to head coach in 2005, the transition was virtually seamless. Neid guided Germany to a second straight World Cup title in 2007 and a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She commands respect from her players having been a midfield fixture on the German team for 15 years. After winning more than a hundred caps, Neid retired after playing after the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.
Goalkeepers: Nadine Angerer, Ursula Holl, Almuth Schult
Defenders: Saskia Bartusiak, Linda Bresonik, Verena Faißt, Lena Goeßling, Annike Krahn, Babett Peter, Bianca Schmidt
Midfielders: Fatmire Bajramaj, Melanie Behringer, Kerstin Garefrekes, Ariane Hingst, Kim Kulig, Simone Laudehr, Celia Okoyino da Mbabi, Bad Neuenahr
Forwards: Inka Grings, Martina Muller, Alexandra Popp, Birgit Prinz
1ST ROUND MATCHES (GROUP A)
- June 26 — vs. Canada in Berlin
- June 30 — vs. Nigeria in Frankfurt
- July 5 — vs. France in Mönchengladbach
Strengths: As the two-time defending champions and currently ranked No. 2 in the FIFA world rankings, Germany is not lacking for confidence… The Germans have a deep reservoir of talented players at every position. Depth is not an issue… Playing at home before their fans is a huge advantage for Germany.
Weaknesses: There's been some suggestion that this team is a bit old and relies too much on veterans, such as Birgit Prinz, of the past two World Cups… Germany qualified as hosts so they didn't have to compete in the qualifiers. Will they be a bit rusty when the tournament starts?... Playing at home comes with its disadvantages, as the Germans will be under even more pressure to perform.
Player to watch: Birgit Prinz — The original superstar of women's soccer, Prinz is a legend who has been there and done it all, including winning two World Cups and being named the FIFA World Player of the Year three times (2003-2005). The German captain is the all-time leading scorer at the FIFA Women's World Cup with 14 goals.
Prospects in Germany: Without question, Germany is among the clear favourites to win the World Cup. The team is packed with experience from back to front and, with home advantage, it can count on partisan, sellout crowds at every game. If there is a weakness it could be that some of Germany's star performers might be past their peak. Expect Germany to win Group A and reach a possible semifinal against the United States.
- Soccer Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)
- Current FIFA world ranking: 2
- Team nickname: Die Nationalelf
- Team colours: white jerseys/black shorts
ROAD TO THE WOMEN'S WORLD CUP
2011 qualification route: Germany automatically qualified for the World Cup as hosts.
WOMEN'S WORLD CUP HISTORY
Germany is entering its sixth World Cup tournament and has always enjoyed success. They came fourth in China 1991, were runners-up in Sweden 1995 and were quarter-finalists in 1999 before finally winning the world title in the United States four years later. Germany won its second title four years ago in China to become the first women's team to repeat as World Cup champions.
- Hosted the Women's World Cup: 2011
- Number of previous Women's World Cup appearances: 5
- All-time record: 20 wins, 5 losses, 3 ties
- Goals for: 84
- Goals against: 21
- All-time top scorer: Birgit Prinz (14)
- 1991 — Semifinals (4th place)
- 1995 — Finalist
- 1999 — Quarter-finals
- 2003 — Champion
- 2007 — Champions