With two days to go before her team begin the defence of their FIFA Women’s World Cup™ crown on home soil, Germany coach Silvia Neid says she is aiming to complete a hat-trick of titles.
Having beaten Brazil 2-0 four years ago in the final in China PR following their 2003 triumph in USA, Germany are the hot favourites again and open their campaign against Canada in Group A at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium on Sunday.
With a sell-out crowd of more than 70,000 expected for the first match, the expectation on the hosts’ shoulders is enormous, but Neid’s team have not lost to the Canadians in their nine previous meetings.
“Of course, we want to claim a third consecutive title,” 47-year-old Neid told Bild. “It is going to be a tough challenge, but I promise we will do our best.”
Having won the last five European Championships and the last two FIFA Women’s World Cups, Germany are used to winning, which Neid acknowledges comes with its own perils.
“When you have won as much as we have, you can only have lost if you don’t come first at the end of the tournament,” said Neid.
“We would be naive to say we will win the world title again, behind the titles in 2003 and 2007 was a lot of hard work and a bit of luck.”
The hosts are not expected to have things their own way and will need to beat Canada, Nigeria and France to win Group A, while Brazil and USA will provide strong opposition in the knockout stages.
“I think other teams have the quality to beat us,” admitted Neid. “Brazil and the US are strong, while teams like England, Japan, Sweden and North Korea are also expected to do well.”