The FIFA World Cup is the biggest event for sports lovers worldwide. Lionel Messi eventually reached the summit of the tournament’s most recent round, leading Argentina to victory for the first time since Diego Maradona’s era. As a result of his efforts in Qatar, Messi was crowned the tournament’s best player and his team’s triumph over France in the championship match cemented his status as the greatest male footballer to ever play the game.
Many soccer fans found the most recent World Cup Final to be a bittersweet event. The World Cup Final was undoubtedly the greatest match the planet has ever witnessed. Still, as Argentina’s victory came to a close, the supporters realized they would have to wait another four years to see another World Cup. But don’t worry; we’ll have another World Cup this summer, thanks to the women’s game.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup
Australia and New Zealand host the FIFA Women’s World Cup between July 20th and Aug. 20th, and excitement has already reached a fever pitch. The USA enters the tournament as the reigning champions. Online bookmakers such as Bovada, which provides soccer, basketball, and college football odds, amongst a whole host of other sports, have made the Americans the favorites to retain their crown once again this year.
The tournament has seen some amazing championship-winning teams in its storied history and over the past four editions, some of soccer’s greatest stars have cemented their place in history by taking home the prestigious title.
It is one of the most-watched sporting events in the world and brings attention to some of the best women’s soccer players from around the globe. Let’s look back at the last four winners of this prestigious tournament and see how they ended up on top.
The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup was hosted by France, and it was ultimately the USA who triumphed as champions, securing their legacy as just the second team in history to successfully retain the trophy. They beat the Netherlands 2-0 in the final, with Megan Rapinoe receiving both Player of the Match and Golden Ball awards for her outstanding performance throughout the tournament. Other standout players included goalkeepers Alyssa Naeher and Adrianna Franch, as well as Rose Lavelle, whose stunning goal sealed Team USA’s victory in that match.
Throughout the tournament, the USWNT had a number of impressive performances; however, their semifinal victory over England will stand the test of time. The U.S. eventually triumphed 2-1 in Lyon, with Alex Morgan scoring the winner. Her iconic tea-sipping celebration made international headlines, and she will be hoping to steal the show once again this summer.
Four years earlier, the USA also clinched their title by defeating Japan 5-2 in a thrilling final in Vancouver’s B.C. Place Stadium. Carli Lloyd scored a hat trick during that final, becoming the first woman in FIFA Women’s World Cup Final history to achieve such a feat in the final. Hope Solo won the award for the tournament’s best goalkeeper, while Carli Lloyd’s six goals throughout the competition saw her named as the best player.
In 2011, Japan won their first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup title after beating the United States. The final finished 2-2 after 120 minutes of action, with the Japanese winning 3-1 on penalties at the culmination of the action in Frankfurt. Homare Sawa was awarded Player of the Tournament for her stellar performance throughout all seven matches leading up to their final victory, even managing to finish as the top scorer with six goals.
Aya Miyama and Shinobu Ohno were also commended for their impressive showings during this tournament which made them stand out among other talented players on this team.
Germany emerged victorious in 2007 when they beat Brazil 2-0 in Shanghai. With the game finely poised at 0-0, German duo Birgit Prinz and Simone Laudehr bagged twice in the second half to secure the trophy. With the victory, Die Mannschaft became the first team in history to successfully retain the trophy, an exploit that would be repeated by the United States in 2015 and 2019.
The star of the show, however, was Brazilian sensation Marta. Her seven goals saw her receive the Player of the Tournament award, as well as the Golden Boot award — which is given to the tournament’s top scorer. She is considered the best women’s soccer player of all time after winning six FIFA World Player of the Year awards — five of which were won consecutively, as well as scoring in five separate FIFA World Cups.
She was the only footballer to ever achieve that feat; however, Cristiano Ronaldo matched her heroics last December in Qatar.