It’s pack four of The Got, Got, Need to Know Women’s World Cup Preview from Leading the Line. In this pack we get to know the origins of the tournaments mascot, unveil a player who hasn’t made the tournament and meet a Brazilian legend not named Marta. So without much further ado, let’s tear in.
Sticker 1: Elise Kellond-Knight, Australia
Kellond-Knight is one of the stars of a Matildas side that may cause an upset or two at this summer’s tournament. Another player with over 100 caps for her nation she made both the 2011 and 2015 World Cup All Star Teams as Australia continued their progress to the forefront of the women’s game. The defensive midfielder’s quality can be demonstrated from just a cursory look at the clubs she has played for over the last 18 months with spells at Hammarby and Melbourne City before she moved to current side Reign FC in the NWSL. She is currently the third most capped player in the squad behind defender Clare Polkinghorne and talismanic striker Lisa De Vanna.
Sticker 2: Formiga
Should 41-year-old Paris Saint Germain midfielder Formiga take this field at this summer’s tournament she will overtake former United States international Christie Rampone as the oldest player to appear at the Women’s World Cup Finals. It would be just another record for the Brazilian as she is already the tournament’s oldest ever scorer when, at 37, she scored the opener in a 2-0 Group stage victory over South Korea in 2015.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, having made 160 appearances she is Brazil’s most capped player and that number could have been even higher if it wasn’t for a self imposed break from 2016-18. Having made her debut as a 17 year old during the 1995 World Cup in Sweden she would go on to appear in six consecutive tournaments with France 2019 set to make it an incredible seven. A true legend of women’s football.
Sticker 3: Ettie, The Official Mascot *DOUBLER*
The daughter of France 98 mascot Footix (massive fan of that kind of story continuity) was announced to be following in her father’s footsteps in May of last year as part of a photo call in front of the Eiffel Tower. A young chicken with a passion for football you can read her full life story on the FIFA website. Whether her will legacy will last as long as her fathers only time will tell but if I can’t buy a 2019 tamagotchi version of her to train up to win the World Cup then for me she will forever live in his shadow.
Sticker 4: Diana Matheson, Canada
We have our first “in the book but not in the squad” sticker but that doesn’t mean she won’t get the Got, Got, Need to Know Preview treatment and quite rightly so as whilst earning over a 100 caps for your country in women’s football is far more prevalent than in the men’s game, to have over 200, like Matheson is testament to her enduring quality. A legend of Canadian football the midfielder was unfortunately ruled out of the tournament as a result of a toe injury that required surgery.
Sticker 5: Li Ying, China
Even in the year 2019 finding information about players from Jia Xiuquan’s squad is still incredibly difficult. This will be a second tournament for Ying though having made her bow in Canada last time out where her side made it to the quarter finals before losing to eventual champions United States. She currently plays for Shandong Ladies in the Chinese Super League and has 24 goals from 92 international appearances.
Packs Opened: 4
Doublers; 2 (Argentina Squad and Ettie)