2 to Watch – Womens World Cup 2011

This entry was posted on Monday, June 27th, 2011

And not a shirt-swapping joke in sight.

Guten Abend to Karla Kick, mascot of the 2011 Womens World Cup which begins on Sunday in Germany. 16 teams, 4 groups of 4 and not a vuvuzela in sight – what’s not to enjoy?

Whilst there will no doubt be many men tuning in eager to knock the laboured play and embarrassingly awful goalkeepers, this is all grossly unfair. To fully appreciate women’s football, one must watch it as a different sport, and not simplistically compare it to men’s. And here are two star players who may catch your eye over the next three weeks if you can put prejudice to one side.

Kelly Smith – England

Having overcome alcoholism and depression, Kelly Smith has done her bit to keep the women’s game up to speed with their male counterparts. If she can significantly improve on her 43 goals in 104 international games to-date, England can go a long way. We fancy the Betfair price of 2.5 on England to win Group B, behind favourites Japan. The other contenders are Mexico and New Zeland.

Birgit Prinz – Germany

The most famous female soccer player in the world, Prinz spearheads the attack for the favourites and hosts, Germany, available at around evens with all bookmakers to win the tournament. Lightning-quick with a terrific finish, Prinz has already hoisted three World Cups and five European Championships, since she made her national team debut back in 1994. More recently, she opened the scoring in the 2007 final, the 2-0 victory over Brazil.

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