Guest Author - Alice Jones
Who is the best Women's Footballer in The World?
A short-list has been announced for both the male and female categories for the annual World Player of the Year. On December 17th 2007 the awards will made, and the winner will be able to claim to be the best footballer in the world. For this year at least!
The current holder of the FIFA World Player Women's award is Marta, having won it last year from Birgit Prinz. Cristiane is the challenger. Let's look at all three candidates.
One of the most instantly recognisable names in Women's soccer, Birgit Prinz is probably the ultimate women's footballer of this generation. For her country Germany and her hometown club FFC Frankfurt, she plays as Striker - To opposition defenders or goalkeepers she is an dangerous assassin, who scores goals for fun!
Prinz is the leading scorer for all time in the Women's World Cup with 14 Tournament goals in total. A winner of this award before on three consecutive years between 2003 and 2005; also retaining the title of German Women's Footballer of the Year every year since 2001, her achievements speak for themselves.
There have been plenty of comparisons made between Birgit Prinz and her compatriot Jurgen Klinsmann; that sporting sniper from another era who similarly made the opponents defence weep with clinical precision. Not just precision, but work-rate, strength and ability, like Klinsmann, all of those things apply to Birgit Prinz and then some.
With 171 caps for Germany, at 30 years old, she is still at the top of her game and not showing any signs of weakness. She scored in the World Cup Final, in September 2007 helping her team to a 2-0 victory over Brazil.
Cristiane Rozeira de Souza Silva plays as a forward for VfL Wolfsburg in Germany. An admirer of Ronaldo's playing style, Cristiane has such moments of such sheer dangerous brilliance that she evokes her hero; One just can't help make the comparison.
At 22, Cristiane is still improving all the time, having burst onto the scene at 16' steadily getting more and more attention for her flair and genius ever since.
A silver medal winner at the 2004 Olympics, like the other two contenders she played in the 2007 World Cup final. Like her compatriot Marta, she was on the losing side that day.
Her day will come, the Brazil team this year came very close, beating the favourites, United States 4-0 along the way. As the playmaker Cristiane has a huge influence on the emergence of Women's Soccer in Brazil, and my, how they can play football!
Not sure if she is slightly in the shade of Marta to earn the title this time, but she will win this one day.
Marta Vieira da Silva has been described by many as the new “Pele of women's football.” She plays her game with trickery and finesse and wows any crowd with her technical ability. The 21 year is the current holder of the title.
Pele's assistant once called her “Pele with skirts” a comment which the Brazilian legend agreed with, while cheekily conceding that his female compatriot had “nicer legs.”
He also thinks she is a great role model for the growth of Women's Soccer. Truth, any girls wanting to get involved in the beautiful game, would not need to look further for some great aspiration.
A unique talent, but also a fantastic all round team player, she currently plays in midfield, for Umea IK, in the Swedish League and has been a fan favourite there since her arrival in 2004.
Marta was the top scorer of the Women's World Cup in China 2007, although Brazil were runners up in the competition, losing the final 2-0 to Margit Prinz's Germany.
Marta gets my vote! You can vote too, up until the award is drawn, by logging on to the Soccer Forum and using the voting form.
I would love to see you there.