Thousands of fans are heading to Australia and New Zealand to follow their national teams at the Women’s World Cup.
Throughout the month-long tournament, fans will give us a glimpse of their experiences as their teams progress – or fail to – in the biggest Women’s World Cup to date.
Here are our super-fan reporters – from Brazil to Zambia.
Name: Marian Martendal Nicolau
Previous World Cup experience: I have never been to a World Cup, not even the men’s World Cup in Brazil in 2014.
I was still living and working in Brazil at the last Women’s World Cup in France. I really considered going since it is a dream for me, but I couldn’t for financial reasons. This year I am fortunate enough to fulfil this dream, and am looking forward to my first World Cup experience.
How do you rate Brazil’s chances? They are not among the favourites but the team has shown a lot of progress and hard work under Pia Sundhage’s command. In the ‘Finalissima’ against England, we were underdogs but put up a great fight, and were very close to winning on penalties.
Brazil’s greatest strengths in this World Cup are the team’s unity, having a great defence system and also a balanced mix of new stars such as Ary Borges, Geyse and Kerolin, and experienced players such as Marta, Andressa Alves and Bia Zaneratto. I will stand by my country and believe we can reach the final and win our first World Cup!
Which Brazilian are you looking forward to watching? Marta, especially because it’s her last World Cup.
She is the most phenomenal player of all time, being able to bring awareness for women’s football in Brazil in the early years when no-one was paying attention to it.
Marta is Brazil, she has it all: the skills, the will to win, the happiness, the open heart. She has done so much for the sport not only in our country, but all around the globe, and deserves all the recognition for it.
Name: Larry Zima
Occupation: Retired labour representative
Previous World Cup experience: In 2002, the Fifa Under-19 tournament was held in Canada. It was the tournament Christine Sinclair introduced herself to the world and my family watched the final.
When the Women’s World Cup was in Canada in 2015, we attended all the matches held in Edmonton.
Qatar 2022 was my first men’s World Cup and I not only enjoyed the 21 matches I attended but also meeting and getting to know soccer fans from around the world.
How do you rate Canada’s chances? I believe Canada can make a run to at least the quarter-finals.
It’s hard to predict the winner as the programmes throughout the world have improved so much that there is no longer a clear favourite but I will go with a Commonwealth country to win.
Which Canadian are you most looking forward to seeing? This World Cup is my present to my wife as her retirement trip and we’ll be seeing some of the best footballers in the world.
Of course anyone on the Canadian team is always going to be who we look forward to watching but from other countries Sam Kerr from Australia will be great to see, especially with the weight of an entire country on her.
Name: Charlotte Wilkins
Occupation: Works for a tech company
Previous World Cup experience: In 2019 I was new to women’s football and felt not many people knew about the tournament in France. There was nothing advertised in the city I went to until I got close to the stadium.
I really thought we’d make it to the final and win and was devastated when we didn’t – I blame VAR!
Which English player are you most looking forward to seeing? This World Cup I’m really hoping to see more of Alex Greenwood. She didn’t start any games in the Euros and she is such a key player at Manchester City so I’m excited for her to get her chance.
Name: Heike Gels
Occupation: Marketing manager
Previous World Cup experience: I have only attended one Women’s World Cup, that was when it was held in Germany in 2011.
My first men’s World cup experience was when Germany hosted it in 2006 and it was amazing. I have also been to World Cups in South Africa, Brazil, Russia and even Qatar.
How does she rate Germany’s chances? I think there is a great chance for Germany to reach the semi-final or even the final. They have lost their last two matches, preparing for the World Cup, but they are in a strong shape. More over there team spirit is awesome.
Which player are you most looking forward to seeing? I’m looking forward to seeing Germany in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, and especially our forward Alexandra Popp. But I’m also interested in Megan Rapinoe, who will finish her career afterwards.
Name: Lauren Dobson
Occupation: Facility manager
Previous World Cup experience: I’ve never been to a Women’s World Cup game before.
How do you rate New Zealand’s chances? New Zealand will hopefully get out of the group, probably in second place, then they’ll get knocked out in the last 16. I reckon England will win the tournament.
Which New Zealand player are you most looking forward to seeing? Jaqui Hand, who plays for New Zealand and England’s Lauren James
Name: Sarah Mae Jacome Boyd
Occupation: Partner in an insurance broker firm
Previous World Cup experience: This will be my second World Cup. My first one was the 2018 Russia World Cup, which was the first time the Panama men’s team qualified. This time we are going to the WWC because it’s the first time the Panama woman’s team has qualified.
How do you rate Panama’s chances? Even though we are in a complicated group, I would hope to see Panama get to the round of 16. I believe the USA will win overall.
Which Panama player are you most looking forward to seeing? I am looking forward to seeing the whole Panama team, and seeing them debut in a World Cup. I am also really looking forward to seeing Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Ivana Andres.
Name: Caroline Gunnarsson
Previous World Cup experience: This is my first World Cup. Last year I was in England watching the European Championship and unfortunately saw England kick Sweden out of the tournament.
How do you rate Sweden’s chances? I think there are plenty of countries that have great teams this year and the tournament will be tight but I think Sweden has what it takes to win it. England, USA and France have great players.
Which Swede are you most looking forward to seeing? After Fridolina Rolfo’s season I have high hopes for her! I’m also very excited to watch Anna Sandberg and Madelen Janogy and hope they both get to play a lot. It will also be interesting to see how much time Caroline Seger will have on the field.
Name: Martha Ashley Nakazwe
Occupation: Football journalist
Previous World Cup experience: This will be my first World Cup
How do you rate Zambia’s chances? I believe the Copper Queens can get into the semi finals. Team USA will definitely win again. Megan Rapinoe will retire with the trophy.
Which Zambian are you most looking forward to seeing? Barbra Banda – and the USA’s Megan Rapinoe.