August 22, 2023
Melinda Head

Women’s World Cup Wrap-Up

Felicidades Espana!

Captain Olga Carmona served up the winning goal during Sunday’s Women’s World Cup final against England: 1-0. The course of Spanish football history was changed at 29:00 during the 90 minute final match in Sydney, Australia.

The 6 ranked La Roja (The Red One) team outflanked England’s Lionesses throughout the match with a 47-37 possession percentage, 14-7 attempts on goal and 5-3 shots on target.

It is their first ever World Cup win. They now join the men (2010) and Germany as the only countries to win both a men’s and women’s World Cup.

Spain was also the highest scoring team during the FIFA Tournament, which included 64 matches played by 32 teams across 9 host cities, culminating in a total of 164 goals – the highest of any edition of the Women’s World Cup. The total attendance was 1,978,274 – only 500,000 less than was recorded during the much more established Men’s World Cup in Quatar in 2022.

The 2023 Women’s World Cup winners are all smiles

Spain’s Aitana Bonmati was awarded the coveted Golden Ball. Deemed the Tournament’s best player, the FC Barcelona Midfielder delivered 3 goals and 2 assists, and completed 42 of her 44 passes.  Younger by 4 years, but a whopping 6” taller, teammate Forward Salma Paralluelo, 19, was named the Best Young Player (under 21 at start of 2023) after scoring as a substitute in the semifinal and quarterfinal matches.

Aitana Bonmati and Salma Paralluelo were singled out for their impressive Women’s World Cup performances

Sadly, Captain Olga Carmona’s father died on Friday, 2 days before the final match. Not only was he unable to watch his daughter’s life-changing accomplishment, but his death was kept secret from Olga until the Title was determined for fear of affecting her performance.  Later, on Twitter, Olga said: “I know that you have given me the strength to achieve something great. I know you have been watching me tonight and that you are proud of me”.

“We send our most sincere hugs to Olga and her family in a moment of deep pain. We love you Olga, you are the history of Spanish Football.” (Royal Spanish Football Federation)

The Team’s national association will pocket $4.29 million, and each player on the Spanish team will receive $270,000.

Even more importantly, at long last, FIFA president Gianni Infantino has pledged to equal the playing field, offering identical prize funds at the next men’s and women’s World Cups, which take place in 2026 and 2027, respectively.

Designed in 1988 by Beirut-born William Sawaya and handcrafted in Milan, the Women’s World Cup trophy is 18.5 inches high and weighs 10.1 lbs. It is made of sterling silver, covered in 24 karat white and yellow gold. I find it odd and, actually, rather insulting that a man was commissioned to produce the Women’s World Cup trophy. Despite his impressive qualifications, were no equally accomplished female designers available?

The Women’s World Cup trophy will be immediately returned to Zurich, where it will sit in the FIFA Museum. Spain will have to settle for a replica. The first Women’s Cup trophy, designed by Angelo Brogioli, disappeared mysteriously during 1997 Ullevaal Stadium renovations and was never seen again

Queen Letizia and Infanta Sofia, her daughter (who is second in line to the Spanish throne after her older sister), attended the Women’s World Cup final match on Sunday

The location of the next Women’s World Cup is still unknown. Bids from South Africa, Brazil and 2 multi-nation groups (Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and U.S., Mexico) will be evaluated in 2024. I think that’s a miss – we should all know where the next Women’s World Cup will be held. Why disrupt marketing efforts when your audience is so highly captivated?

In between, the Men’s World Cup will be held across the U.S., Canada and Mexico in 2026. The hype machine is already in full swing. If ever there is a time to get into soccer, which everyone else in the World calls football, it is now. I just wish we could all call it the same thing.

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About the Author

A serial entrepreneur, Melinda is a sociologist and statistician who believes there is no currency with greater value than knowledge

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