Quarter-finals - 7: 1 for Europe - Sport
The USA and the teams from the old continent are playing for the title. To qualify for the Olympics will be difficult for the German team.
Shanice van de Sanden ran to the square, with arms raised and with so much joy in his face that it would have been enough for a whole stadium. Shortly after, she stood in the Roazhon Park of Rennes, crying, face to face with Saki Kumagai, who was sobbing bitterly and heartbroken. Tears streamed down their cheeks, dripping on their jerseys and turf. One had won, the other had lost. And how van de Sanden and Kumagai stood together, agitated by their emotions, was one of the most touching scenes of this World Cup so far. In the final round of the last 16 between the Netherlands and Japan, a controversial handball decision was made on victory and defeat: The Netherlands champions are in the quarter-finals after a 2-1 win, although Japan was overall superior to Kumagai thanks to outstanding ball handling and clean, well thought out playmaking.
Football is a fascinating sport, it can be beautiful, but it can also be hard to take because not always the better team wins. That evening was probably the same - even if it would be excellent to philosophize about what that means: better. This question arises after the knockout stages of France so on a fundamental, on a continental level.
Twenty-four nations have participated in this tournament: nine from Europe, three from South America, three from North, Central America and the Caribbean, three from Africa, five from Asia and the Australians. But after 44 out of 52 games played, this ratio has become very unbalanced. Even before the round of the last sixteen, this indicated, in each pair was a European team here, the odds were 50/50, that it would even be a purely European quarter-finals. It almost came to that.
Except for Spain - which caused great problems for the USA and ultimately, like Japan, lost by a penalty decision - all teams on this continent could prevail. And so the ratio is now 7: 1 for Europe. The US merchandise collection looks almost prophetic for the World Cup. Less as a political statement to the delight of President Trump because as a sporting challenge is on sweatshirts and hats: USA vs.. everybody, USA against everybody.
For the first time in eight discharged World Championships come seven quarter-finalists from Europe, so far had never made more than five, in the semifinals were never more than three. The fact that European teams have such a dominant position in the tableau this year is evidence of a development in the respective countries.
The US is traditionally strong in women's football, its social status is higher than in other countries, resistance is lower, because there is a greater naturalness that girls and women exercise this sport. The structures are correspondingly good, also due to the school system. The National Women's Soccer League is one of the best leagues in the world, all players of the record world champion now have after stops abroad again contracts in the professional NWSL.
Norway - England Thu 21.00
France - USA Fr. 21.00
Italy - Netherlands Sat. 15.00
Germany - Sweden Sat. 18.30
Germany has twice become world champion and eight times European champion. This dominance was also fueled by the strength of the Bundesliga, which used to be one of the most popular leagues. Meanwhile, other countries have also discovered women's football for themselves and ensure that the level of financial, infrastructural and social developments rises. "It does not surprise me that Europe is so strong, which simply shows the development that has taken place over the past few years," says national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg.
England has become a dream island, and in Spain Real also wants a women's team
In France, especially the Europe-wide dominant club Olympique Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain offer the best conditions. With Europe's only fully professional women's league, England has become a dream island, where a lot of money is flowing, also because more and more men's clubs are announcing women's teams. Spain drew attention recently by record numbers of spectators, also here is invested, on Tuesday announced Real Madrid, from 2020 to enter. Almost all national players of these countries play in the domestic leagues. Those who do not have their own strong league, like the Netherlands, draw their strength from the commitment of their talents abroad. Italy is an exception, with the surprise World Cup appearing to have been intoxicated on their return to the stage after 20 years. In Japan, the world champion of 2011, good structures are in place, the big goal is to do well at the Olympia 2020 in their own country, the efforts were already to see. This is counteracted by the conditions in Africa - with two teams making their way into the knockout rounds in Cameroon and Nigeria for the first time - as well as the fights that have to be fought in Chile and Argentina. Here players have sued their associations to provide equal opportunities. Jamaica was mainly thanks to the financial commitment of Cedella Marley, the daughter of Bob Marley. Those who have to deal with such basic things can not focus on playing world-class football. But what must not be forgotten are the sometimes controversial decisions of the referees and video assistants, which have influenced the 7: 1 ratio. For the Germans, Europe's dominance is a problem. At the World Cup, the qualification for 2020 should succeed. "The Olympic Games will be very important footballing for all that's coming up in Germany in the next four or five years," Voss-Tecklenburg said. This would require one of the best three in Europe - but there are still a lot of them at the World Cup.