June 26, 2011, in Germany five years after the Men's World Cup, the sixth edition of the Women's World Cup will take place.
Though not as popular as the men's version, the Women's Word Cup has its fair share of followers.
Here are some things you may want to know to make yourself better acquainted with the event.
She has appeared and played in every single Women's World Cup since the competition started.
Norway's Bente Nordby has the same number of appearances, but she didn't play in the 1991 tournament.
One of the best players in this moment, she has scored more goals than any other player in the story of the tournament (14).
She was also the youngest player to play in a Women's World Cup at age 17 in the 1995 tournament.
1991 marked the first time the Women's World Cup was played, making it 60 years younger than the Men's version of the tournament.
China was the first host and the tournament was won by the USA, who won the final against Norway. Sweden placed third and Germany fourth.
Don't be surprised if you don't see anybody dressed like that. It may be somewhat traditional in the south, but Germans don't wear that all year round.
Oddly enough the beer drinking and sausage eating stereotypes are pretty accurate.
Nine stadiums in nine German cities will be the venues used in this tournament. A Bundesliga team currently plays in each of these stadiums. They are:
Impuls Arena (Augsburg, FC Augsburg)
Olympic Stadium (Berlin, Hertha BSC)
Ruhrstadion (Bochum, VfL Bochum)
Glücksgas Stadium (Dresden, Dynamo Dresden)
Commerzbank-Arena (Frankfurt am Main, Eintrach Frankfurt)
BayArena (Leverkussen, Bayer Leverkussen)
Borussia-Park (Mönchengladbach, Borussia Mönchengladbach)
Rhein-Neckar-Arena (Sinsheim, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim)
Volkswagen Arena (Wolfsburg, VfL Wolfsburg)
The capacity of the stadium varies from 23000 (Bochum) to 74000+ (Berlin)
Teams from every FIFA Confederation will participate in the tournament. FIFA thought about adding more teams, but finally they went with 16 teams instead of the 24 they wanted to have.
Participating teams are:
AFC: Australia, Japan & North Korea
CAF: Equatorial Guinea & Nigeria
CONCACAF: Canada, Mexico & USA (won a play off against Italy)
CONMEBOL: Brazil & Colombia
OFC: New Zealand
UEFA: England, France, Germany (host), Norway & Sweden
Even if there has only been six tournaments so far, this marks the second time it's been played in Europe and it's only the fourth host as China and USA have hosted the tournament twice (1991 & 2007 in China and 1999 & 2003 in USA).
Not only will the players be women, so will the referees.
Bibiana Steinhaus is one of the best known female referees in the world, being the only female referee in German professional football.
A total of 16 three person teams from 35 countries will be officiating the matches.
In the five tournaments so far, only three teams have won it.
USA and Germany have won two each and Norway won the other tournament.
USA is one of the most prolific teams in the Women's World Cup tournament, since they placed third in all tournaments they did not win.
Four four-team groups and a KO stage starting with a quarterfinal round, followed by a semi-final round that ends with a 3rd place match, and then the final, make up the format.
Groups have already been decided and are:
Group A: Germany, Canada, Nigeria and France
Group B: Japan, New Zealand, Mexico and England
Group C: USA, North Korea, Colombia and Sweden
Group D: Brazil, Australia, Norway and Equatorial Guinea
Apart from being the hosts, Germany is also a two time World Champion (2003 & 2007) and will be attempting to defend the title this year.
As of March 18, 2011, FIFA's Women's National Team standings were:
1st: USA (2191 points)
2nd: Germany (2153 points)
3rd: Brazil (2098 points)
The next release of the standings will be on July 22, after the World Cup is played.
For the first time in its history, FIFA has appointed the following former women players and coaches as ambassadors for women's football, in recognition of their services to football:
- Michelle AKERS (USA, pictured)
- Mercy AKIDE (NIGERIA)
- Silvana BURTINI (CANADA)
- Julie FOUDY (USA)
- Mia HAMM (USA)
- Futaba KIOKA (JAPAN)
- Ailing LIU (CHINA PR)
- Carolina MORACE (ITALY)
- Julie MURRAY (AUSTRALIA)
- Silivia NEID (GERMANY)
- SISSI (BRAZIL)
- Heidi STOERE (NORWAY)
- Wen SUN CHINA PR)
- Pia SUNDHAGE (SWEDEN)
- Bettina WIEGMANN (GERMANY)