1991-2019: The History of the Women’s World Cup

Status: 05/22/2023 11:28 AM

Only in 1991 was the first World Cup for footballers held. The United States, who is also the world champion, won. Germany won the title in 2003 and 2007. A look back at all the world championships.

1991: The United States wins the China premiere

Twelve teams play for the title in the first-ever Women’s World Cup. As European champions, Germany is one of the favourites, but lost 5-2 to the United States in the semi-finals. The match for third place was also lost – 0: 4 against Sweden.

Only the Americans could not be stopped in the match against Germany. In Karen Jennings, Michelle Akers and April Heinrichs, they have an outstanding attacking trio that Chinese media have dubbed a “three-edged sword”. Akers scored five goals in a 7-0 win over Taiwan in the quarter-finals and also finished as top scorer with ten goals in total.

She is also the key player in the final, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win over Norway in front of over 60,000 spectators.

1995: Norway retaliates

At the second World Cup, which is being held in Sweden, the Norwegians managed to take revenge on the United States: perfectly adjusted by coach Fuchs Even Billerode, the Scandinavians knocked out the defending champions in the semifinals and won 1-0.

The opponent in the final is Germany. With the team of coach Giro Besans, 17-year-old Birgit Prinz first came to international attention. But she did not score in the final. Norway wins the match in Solna 2-0.

1999: USA win at home

Thinking big is part of the lifestyle in the USA – and with a few exceptions, the games are played in the big soccer arenas. The plan works: An average of nearly 38,000 viewers tune in to World Cup matches.

Of course, only the address matters to the flight attendants. But the German national team almost became a stumbling block in the quarterfinals. DFB takes the lead twice and ends up losing 3-2. Next, the United States eliminated Brazil 2-0 and met China in the final, who beat Norway 5-0 in the semifinals.

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90,000 spectators at the Pasadena Rose Bowl watched a tense, but scoreless, game decided by a penalty shootout. Brandi Chastain finally converted the decisive penalty kick and gleefully tore his shirt. The image of the defender wearing a black sports bra only on her upper body has gone viral around the world.

World Cup tournaments at a glance
year winner second The final result Scorer Queen

1991 (Chinese)

United States of America



Michelle Akers (USA / 10)

1995 (Sweden)




Ann Christine Aarons (NOR/6)

1999 (United States)

United States of America


5:4 ne

Sissi (BRA) / Sun Wen (CHN) 6 each

2003 (USA)



2:1 (golden goal)

Birgit Prinz (GER/7)

2007 (China)





2011 (Germany)


United States of America

5: 3 nE

Homari Sawa (JPN/5)

2015 (Canada)

United States of America



Celia Sasek (Germany) / Carli Lloyd (USA) 6th each

2019 (France)

United States of America



Megan Rapinoe (USA) / Alex Morgan (USA) / Ellen White (England) sixth each

2003: Konzer leads Germany to the World Cup title

The 2003 World Cup will also be held in the United States of America. The tournament should actually be held in China, but due to the SARS pandemic, the tournament will be moved from Asia to North America.

The World Cup is a milestone for the German national team. Coach Tina Theon-Maer’s selection stormed into the tournament, led by top scorer Birgit Prinz.

In the preliminary round, the German Football Association scored 13 goals in three matches, won in the quarter-finals 7-1 over Russia – and in the semi-finals Germany knocked out the defending champions USA and won 3-0.

The final against Sweden is very exciting and is decided by a golden goal in the 98th minute. When the score was 1: 1, Nia Künzer threw herself into the air after Renate Lingor’s free kick and led the German team to the World Cup title.

2007: The Ultimate Tournament – The DFB Team defends its title

Germany is writing football history at the World Cup in China. For the first time, a country has been able to defend its title. In addition, the FA selection celebrates its 11-0 victory over Argentina, the highest win in World Cup history up to that point and remaining goalless in the entire tournament.

A confident victory in the group, success in the quarter-finals against North Korea, a 3-0 semi-final victory over Norway: the team of national coach Silvia Neid was struck by loneliness and compactness. In the final, Brazil is waiting for the superstar Marta, who becomes a tragic hero.

German soccer players celebrate winning the 2007 World Cup.

Germany was lucky when Daniela hit the post and took the lead in the 52nd minute through Birgit Prinz. Then there are penalties for the Seleçao: Marta wants to equalize, but goalkeeper Nadine Angerer cannot be defeated in the World Cup and saves.

Simone Laudehr then cleared the DFB-Elf with a header after a corner kick by Renate Lingor (86th). DFB-Elf is the world champion again. “It was the perfect tournament,” says Ned.

2011: A Rude Awakening from a Summer Fairy Tale

Germany wants to win the World Cup for the third time in a row in the tournament held in their country. Bitter disappointment follows. The hosts shone in the preliminary round with victories over France, Nigeria and Canada.

Many see the quarter-final against Japan as an easy pit stop on their way to the final. But the outside player upset the FA selection with a compact defensive tackle, and it goes to overtime. It is clear that the great pressure is noticeable in Germany. And the Japanese took advantage of this and scored the winning goal in the 108th minute.

The big World Cup party has ended way too soon for the enviable selection. Things are very different in Japan. The team outdid themselves and eventually defeated the United States on penalties in the final.

2015: USA for the third time

Before the World Cup in Canada, the main topic of discussion was the underground. For the first time in the history of the World Cup, the match will be played on artificial turf, with 24 teams participating for the first time. The DFB’s selection wins their group and meets Sweden in the first knockout match. The Scandinavians were no longer the top team in years past, with Germany winning 4-1.

It will be more difficult in the quarter-finals against France: Goalkeeper Nadine Angerer saves against Claire Lavoguez on penalties, all German shooters score, so that the DFB advances to the semi-finals against the United States.

The Americans are the better team and deserved to win 2-0. However, there is also some bad luck. Celia Sasic misses a penalty when the score is 0-0, the United States take the lead with an illegal penalty kick.

The endgame is a repeat of the game from 2011: Japan is the Americans’ opponent. However, the game is one-sided as never before. After 16 minutes, the USA was already leading 4-0, and Carli Lloyd scored three goals. In the end 5: 2.

2019: The German Confederation team failed in the quarter-finals

The German national team is going through a period of turmoil in the World Cup in France. Martina Voss-Tecklenburg is coaching the team at a major championship for the first time. There are some young players in the team who haven’t found their role yet. “We’re a team in the making,” says Voss-Tecklenburg.

And for this team, after a good preliminary round and a 3-0 victory in the round of 16 over Nigeria, the tournament came to an abrupt end in the quarter-finals: 1-2 against Sweden.

The United States is the outstanding team in the World Cup. In the opening match there 13: 0 against Thailand. In the knockout stage, the USA soccer team won 2-1 against Spain, France and England. In the final match, the Netherlands lost 2-0.

Superstar Megan Rapinoe was named the tournament’s best player and won the Golden Boot for top scorer. She is also there in the final with a score of 1-0.

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