FIFA Women's World Cup 2019: From Michelle Akers to Sun Wen, winners of Golden Ball and Boot awards across all editions
Here, we take a look at the Golden Boot and Golden Ball award winners from all the editions of the FIFA Women's World Cup
The Golden Ball award in the very first Women's World Cup was won by Carin Jennings of the United States.
The Golden Ball and the Golden Boot awards were claimed by Germany forward Birgit Prinz in the 2003 edition.
Carli Lloyd scored six goals in the tournament, same as Germany's Celia Sasic but the latter received the Golden Boot because of her lesser playtime in the 2015 World Cup.
FIFA Women's World Cup will begin from 7 June and run for a month in France across seven venues with 24 teams fighting for the trophy.
This is the eighth edition of the World Cup having started in 1991. China hosted the first ever Women's World Cup with 12 nations participating in the event. The tournament winners were the United States, who defeated Norway 2-1 in the final.
Since then, the United States have dominated the tournament, winning the competition three times (1991, 1999, 2015) and ending runners-up on one occasion. Germany won back-to-back tiles in 2003 and 2007 with Norway winning the 1995 World Cup and Japan emerging winners in 2011.
Here, we take a look at the Golden Boot and Golden Ball award winners from all the editions of the World Cup:
1991 Women's World Cup in China
Golden Ball — Carin Jennings
Golden Boot — Michelle Akers
The Golden Ball award in the very first Women's World Cup was won by Carin Jennings of the United States. The versatile attacker, part of the 'Triple-Edged Sword' forward line-up of the team, which also included Michelle Akers and April Heinrichs, scored six goals from six matches to propel her team to glory. Her standout performance came in the semi-final against another favourites Germany. Jennings scored three goals in the first-half as the US beat Germany 5-2 to make their way to the final.
While Jennings made quite an impact in the tournament, it was her strike partner Michelle Akers who ended up being the top-scorer in the World Cup. Akers is regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time. She netted 10 times during the course of the tournament, including twice in the final against Norway to take home the Golden Boot award. In 2002, she was named FIFA Female Player of the Century, an award she shared with China's Sun Wen.
1995 Women's World Cup in Sweden
Golden Ball — Hege Riise
Golden Boot — Ann Kristin Aarones
The second edition of the Women's World Cup belonged to Norway. The team, led by Heidi Støre, made amends for missing out on the trophy four years back. They defeated the mighty German side 2-0 to clinch the title. Norway had their fair share of talented footballers but Hege Riise emerged as the outstanding creative midfielder, helping her team to win the tournament and also claiming the Golden Ball award. Once hailed as "the woman with six pairs of eyes", Riise dictated the tempo of the game from midfield and ended up scoring five crucial goals for her team, including one in the final.
Riise's creative genius was aptly complimented by teammate Ann Kristin Aarones' goal-scoring abilities. The attacker scored six goals in the tournament, which also included the lone strike in the semi-final against favourites United States. The goal in the 10th minute proved to be the difference as Norway made their way to the final, eventually winning the title.
1999 Women's World Cup in United States
Golden Ball — Sun Wen
Golden Boot — Sun Wen and Sisi
The third edition of the World Cup saw the competition expand from 12 to 16 teams, and first to feature an all-female roster of referees and match officials. The hosts started as the favourites and ended up winning the trophy against China in the penalty shootout. Sun Wen, probably the best player to come from Asia, took the tournament by storm as her goal-scoring prowess helped China to reach the final for the first time. The gifted No 9 was instrumental in China's outstanding performance, netting as many seven goals. She scored twice in the semi-final against Norway, handing their opponents a 0-5 drubbing. Her scintillating display ensured she took home the Golden Ball award.
Wen also took home the Golden Boot award for scoring most number of goals, but she shared the award with Brazil's Sisi. The attacking midfielder also scored seven times in the tournament as Brazil came third in the tournament.
2003 Women's World Cup in United States
Golden Ball — Birgit Prinz
Golden Boot — Birgit Prinz
For the second consecutive time, United States hosted the World Cup because FIFA decided to shift the venue after the SARS outbreak in China. Germany, who went to the final once in 1995, emerged champions this time around beating Sweden in the final thanks to a golden goal from Nia Kunzer. The Golden Ball and the Golden Boot awards were claimed by Germany forward Birgit Prinz, who scored seven goals in the tournament and played a vital role in her team's impressive run. The striker, considered as one of the most talented women footballers to come from Germany, scored in her team's quarter-final and semi-final victories.
2007 Women's World Cup in China
Golden Ball — Marta
Golden Boot — Marta
Just like in the previous World Cup, both Golden Ball and the Golden Boot awards were won by the same player. Brazil lost in the final to Germany, but Marta Vieira da Silva commonly known as Marta dazzled in the tournament, scoring seven goals in the process. Known for her exceptional finishing skills, Marta scored four times in the group stage. She scored from the penalty spot in 3-2 quarter-final win over Australia. In the semi-final, Marta scored twice as Brazil beat United States 4-0. In the final, Brazil lost 0-2 against Germany. Marta had a penalty kick saved midway through the second half, which would have tied the match at that point.
2011 Women's World Cup in Germany
Golden Ball — Homare Sawa
Golden Boot — Homare Sawa
Asian powerhouse Japan triumphed in Germany, beating United States 3-1 in the penalty shootout after 120 minutes of the play ended in 2-2 scoreline. It was a deserving victory for Japan and equally deserving was Homare Sawa, who won both Golden Ball and Golden Boot awards. Sawa, who was also the captain of the side, was at peak of her powers, scoring five goals in tournament. Her importance and stature in the team were proven in the final when she scored a goal in the 117th minute to make it 2-2 in Japan's favour. In 2012, Sawa was named the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year.
2015 Women's World Cup in China
Golden Ball — Carli Lloyd
Golden Boot — Celia Sasic
Perennial favourites the United States missed out on winning the trophy in the last three editions prior to the 2015 World Cup. After winning all their matches in the run up to the final, the US met Japan in the final. Captain Carli Lloyd had a sensational final as she scored a hat-trick in the first 16 minutes of the match, becoming only the second person in history to score a hat trick in any senior FIFA World Cup Final, after Geoff Hurst. US won the match 5-2 and for consistent performance throughout the match, she was rewarded with the Golden Ball award.
Lloyd scored six goals in the tournament, same as Germany's Celia Sasic but the latter received the Golden Boot because of her lesser playtime in the World Cup.
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