World Cup 2019 - our best bits
It’s only been five days since the US Women’s Soccer team were crowned winners of the world cup for the fourth time, and it already feels like weeks! Whilst withdrawal symptoms are well and truly kicking in, and the realisation that any new season is literally ages away, we look back at some of our favourite moments - both on and off the pitch - that made this tournament so special. Words from the TFG community.
The players and the moments that made it
At the start of the tournament, a friend was telling me that women should play with smaller goals than men, as it was a clearly a disadvantage. Luckily, Van Veenendaal, Vanina Correa, Ayaka Yamashita and Chiamaka Nnadozie wrote my argument response for me. - Amy
Marta’s speech after Brazil was knocked out was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever heard. I listened to that on repeat. - Gaby
I have a lot of time for Alex Morgan. I don't think what she did and said to France and England was outrageous. Personally I prefer more 'sportsmanship' and humbleness (I'm Swedish, lol), and wouldn't have been thrilled if any of our players did that - but that's just emotions relating to the love of our teams. I compare it to when Hope Solo called us 'cowards' in the 2016 olympics. I saw it and I thought she was being really assy. Then US soccer used that as an opportunity to give her a 6 month suspension due to her fight with them for equal rights. An outspoken woman gets nit-picked for isolated comments and/or actions that weren't really that bad. (Like, don't get us started on atrocious things men do and say on and off the pitch that has far less or ni ramifications for them). - Frida
Supporting the USWNT since 1994, it's just incredible and inspiring to see the growth of the game in the US and internationally as well.Thailand scoring their first World Cup goal and Nualphan Lamsam crying in celebration was so empowering and moving. - Nicole
When Lavelle nutmegged Millie Bright in the first 5 minutes, I let out a little yelp of excitement - and I was supporting the Lionesses! Crazy to hear she watched some of her teammates in the last World Cup from a Pizza shop in Cincinatti. Then in 2019 she scored the final goal of the tournament and awarded the bronze boot. 24 year old Lavelle’s glow-up is not over. - Harry
Megan Rapinoe. That’s all. - Flo
“From frosted tips, to shaved undercuts and a plethora of colour - the lewks from this year’s World Cup were GOALS. One of my favourites was dutch footballer Shanice van de Sanden, who has ensured all eyes are on her with her unmistakable leopard-print buzz cut - both practical and necessary for those winning tackles.
Other stand out looks are from the United States forward Megan Rapinoe’s pink pixie cut, challenging Canadian midfielder, Sophie Schmidt’s magenta mane, whilst South Africa’s Janine van Wyk opted for a lime green quiff to compliment her country’s colours, and Francisca Ordega sported blue and purple braids.
More than just ostentatious style choices, these looks are proving an important point. The gender binaries that once acted as a barrier for women being taken seriously in the sport, are now being flaunted with a powerful message - “I can take up space within this arena, and I can present myself in all the ways I want”.
Marta, the Brazilian forward who scored her 17th World Cup goal this tournament, did so whilst rocking a dark purple lipstick. Can any of the naysayers argue that her choice of cosmetics hindered her performance?
Whether they are challenging stereotypes or leaning into their own feminine ideals, you can’t deny these women are changing the game - both on the pitch and how women in sports are viewed.” Polly March
From the convoys of fans that took to France to celebrate in the stands, to the screenings and watching parties that happened back at home - this tournament had a whole new level of support.
Romance FC, Slowe and Bad Sports teamed up to bring us football, music and good vibes across the whole month. Against the Run of Play provided a programme of cultural events around the Women’s game, with workshops, screenings and discussions. The Festival of Football, organised by players from Goal Diggers FC took over not one, but three East London venues to host panels, performances and sold out watching parties - all proceeds going to Football Beyond Borders.
Following a request from Lioness Georgia Stanway, Glastonbury screened England vs Norway - the first time in their history they’ve shown a women’s game. This Fan Girl, Goal Diggers and Brockwell United FC were there to enjoy the action.
For the semi-final where England faced the USA, Lord Mayor Sadiq Khan announced they’d be screening the game outside at Battersea Park. Although the result wasn’t the one we wanted, the support from London’s finest was very much appreciated.
“Just wanted to quickly mention that my little boy (nearly 10) said he wanted to score a goal at school today so he could do the Rapinoe celebration and spent yesterday after the match in the garden practising it ❤️” - Hollie
“Seeing a group of men late 20s/early 30s shouting all the names of the England team in a bar in central London last week just made me smile. I know it’s not all about men enjoying the women’s game but they are the dads who will bring up the next generation of girls - future footballers” - Katie
“Women's football allows space for activism and the conversations around it, and that’s an incredible thing. The conversations with boys at work have been parallel to the ones we had last summer & the hope that this means there won't be a look of surprise when you make a vaguely intelligent comment on something to do with the Premier League. This year for the first time now, I'm worried about needing a Chelsea ladies season ticket as I don't miss out on matches because they've reached capacity”. - Kate