Women’s football has come a long way since the first FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991. Since then, the sport has grown in popularity and galvanized support around the world. Today, we honor the legacy of these women’s teams by taking a look back at all the winners and runners-up of the FIFA Women’s World Cup from 1991 to 2019. Here is a comprehensive list of all champions and finalists, along with some interesting facts about each tournament throughout history.
Women’s football world cups have been organized every four years by the Federation International de Football Association since 1991. So far, eight FIFA women’s world cups have been successfully hosted in different countries. United States won the inaugural FIFA women’s world cup held in China.
Women’s FIFA World Cup Winners list
|1991||12||United States||Norway||US won by 2-1||China|
|1995||12||Norway||Germany||Norway won by 2-0||Sweden|
|1999||16||United States||China PR||US won by 5-4 in penalty after draw at 0-0||United States|
|2003||16||Germany||Sweden||Germany won by 2-1 (Golden Goal)||United States|
|2007||16||Germany||Brazil||Germany won by 2-0||China|
|2011||16||Japan||United States||Japan won by 3-1 in penalty after draw at 2-2||Germany|
|2015||24||United States||Japan||USA won by 5-2||Canada|
|2019||24||United States||Netherlands||United States won by 2-0||France|
Countries with number of titles
It is the United States that has won the most FIFA women’s world cups, followed by Germany with two titles, Norway with one, and Japan with one.
|COUNTRY||NUMBER of TITLES||YEAR|
|United States||4||1991, 1999, 2015, 2019|
The United States is the most successful nation in FIFA Women’s World Cup history. They have won the tournament a record four times, and have been runners-up twice.
The United States first won the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991, defeating Norway 2-1 in the final. They defended their title in 1999, with a come-from-behind victory over China in the final. After losing to Japan in the 2011 final, the United States bounced back to win again in 2015, beating Japan 5-2. Their most recent triumph came in 2019, when they defeated The Netherlands 2-0 in the final.
The United States has also won four Olympic gold medals in women’s soccer, more than any other nation.
Germany have appeared in seven FIFA Women’s World Cups, winning the tournament twice in 2003 and 2007. They have also been runners-up three times, in 1995, 1999, and 2011.
Germany made their first appearance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991, but were eliminated in the group stage. Four years later, they reached the quarter-finals before being beaten by China.
In 1999, Germany hosted the FIFA Women’s World Cup and reached the final for the first time. They lost to the United States after a golden goal from Brandi Chastain.
Four years later, Germany won their first FIFA Women’s World Cup title with a 2-1 victory over Sweden in the final. Birgit Prinz was named Player of the Tournament after scoring seven goals.
Germany defended their title successfully in 2007 with a 6-2 win over Brazil in the final. Marta was named Player of the Tournament for her performances throughout the competition.
2011 saw Germany lose out to Japan in a dramatic final, which ended 2-2 after extra time before Japan won on penalties 3-1. Celia Sasic was named as Germany’s Player of the Tournament.
The Brazil women’s national football team has won the FIFA Women’s World Cup five times, more than any other team. They were the inaugural winners of the tournament in 1991 and have since won in 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2019.
Brazil has also been runners-up three times, in 1995, 2007, and 2011.
Since its inception in 1991, the FIFA Women’s World Cup has been won by eight different countries. The United States have been the most successful team, winning three times (1991, 1999 and 2015), while Germany have won twice (2003 and 2007).
Other winners include Norway (1995), Japan (2011) and China PR (1999). Below is a list of all the FIFA Women’s World Cup winners, runners-up and third-place finishers.
1991: United States
The first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup was held in China in 1991. The United States, led by striker Michelle Akers, won the tournament after defeating Norway 2-1 in the final. Akers was named Player of the Tournament after scoring ten goals, including five in the opening game against Denmark.
Norway hosted the second FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1995 and were crowned champions after beating Germany 2-0 in the final thanks to goals from Hege Riise and Marianne Pettersen. Brazil finished third after defeating Italy on penalties in the third-place playoff.
1999: United States
The United States won their second FIFA Women’s World Cup title in 1999, defeating China PR 5-4 on penalties following a 0-0 draw after extra time. It was a heartbreak for China who had earlier missed a penalty in normal time before seeing their captain Sun Wen sent off
Norway has appeared in the FIFA Women’s World Cup five times, winning the tournament in 1995 and 1999. They have also been runners-up in 1991 and 2003.
Norway’s first appearance at a Women’s World Cup was in China in 1991. They reached the semi-finals, where they lost to the United States. In the third-place match, Norway beat Brazil 2–1 to finish in fourth place overall.
At the 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Sweden, Norway finished first in their group with seven points. In the quarter-finals, they defeated Nigeria 3–1. In the semi-finals, they beat Germany 2–0. In the final, Norway defeated China 2–0 to win their first ever Women’s World Cup title.
Norway defended their title at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup in the United States. They again finished first in their group with nine points before beating Brazil 4–1 in the quarter-finals. In the semi-finals, they once again faced Germany and won 3–2 after extra time. In the final, Norway beat Japan 5–4 on penalties after a 0–0 draw following extra time to lift the trophy for a second time.
Norway failed to make it past the group stage of either the 2003 or 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cups. They did manage to reach the final of UEFA Women
In England, the FIFA Women’s World Cup has been held six times, with the most recent being in 2019. The nation has seen some success in the tournament, finishing as runners-up in three of the six occasions.
The first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup was staged in China in 1991, with England failing to make it out of the group stage. The following year, an English side managed by Ted Copeland finished as runners-up in the inaugural European Competition for Women’s Football, a forerunner to the UEFA Women’s Championship.
A breakthrough came at the 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Sweden. Again under Copeland, England reached the semi-finals where they lost to eventual champions Germany. A year later, England won their first major trophy when they lifted the UEFA Women’s Championship on home soil, defeating Germany in a penalty shoot-out in the final.
Two more semi-final appearances followed at the 1999 and 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cups, both under head coach Hope Powell. On both occasions England lost to eventual champions United States. In between those tournaments, Powell guided England to their second UEFA Women’s Championship title in 2009.
The most recent FIFA Women’s World Cup was held in France in 2019. Under head coach Phil Neville, England reached their fourth semi-final where they lost 2-1 to holders United States.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup is an international football tournament contested by the senior women’s national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport’s global governing body. The competition has been held every four years since 1991, when the inaugural tournament, then called the FIFA World Championship for Women’s Football for the M&Ms Cup, was staged in China.
A total of 24 teams compete for the title at each World Cup, with an initial group stage leading to a knockout format, whereby only eight teams progress to the quarter-finals. From there, it becomes a straight knockout until a winner is crowned.
China have been one of the most successful teams in Women’s World Cup history, appearing in all eight editions of the tournament and finishing as runners-up on three occasions. They also reached the quarter-finals on six occasions and the semi-finals twice.