Skip to main content
Subscribe to our Beano comic! Click Here
Beano Comic

15 Women's World Cup Facts That'll Make You Honk a Vuvuzela!

Here's everything you need to know about the earth-sized competition in women's football!

Beano Team
Last Updated:  December 20th 2023

Anyone who watched the 2023 Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand will tell you what an awesome experience it was to see the greatest teams battling it out for the ultimate prize! Here are some awesome facts about the global tournament which will make you feel like a well-researched TV commentator!

1. The first Women's World Cup took place in 1991!

The first Women's World Cup was held in 1991 in China and was won by the United States of America, who beat Norway 2-1 in the final at the Tianhe Stadium in Guangzhou.

2. The World Cup is held every four years!

Just like the men's competition, four years is far too long to wait for a summer of exciting international football action. The next country to host the Women's World Cup – the 10th – will be decided soon, but defending champs Spain have automatically qualified!

3. The competition began with just 12 teams!

A football fan clutching a ball in a big stadium

The number of participating teams has increased over the years, reflecting the growing popularity of women's football. The competition started with just 12 teams but has grown to 32 in recent tournaments. All of which means more exciting games of international soccer!

4. The world is split into six qualifying zones!

Earth Facts

Before any countries can even dream of playing at the World Cup finals, there's the task of qualifying for the competition first. Each country must play a series of games and they're all split into different continental zones. You've got teams from Africa, Asia, North and Central America and Caribbean, South America, Oceania and Europe all playing their hearts out to reach the actual tournament. Exciting stuff!

5. Over 1.7 million tickets were sold for the 2023 competition!

A group of football fans enjoying themselves in a stadium

The 2023 World Cup took place in Australia and New Zealand and demand for tickets was extremely high. 75,784 fans watched Spain defeat England in the final at the Stadium Australia in Sydney on August 20, 2023.

6. 59 million people in China watched their team play England in 2023!

And for those who lived far away from Australia and New Zealand, football fans across the world kept up-to-date with some excellent TV coverage throughout the competition. 59 million people in China watched their nation take on England, setting a new record! England won 6-1, so maybe not the best way to spend a couple of hours.

7. The USA have won the Women's World Cup four times!

United States women's national soccer team badge

The United States women's national football team has been particularly successful in the Women's World Cup, winning four titles in China (1991), the USA (1999), Canada (2015) and France (2019). They've placed either third or runners-up in every other competition apart from 2023, where they lost on penalties to Sweden in the round of 16.

8. There were unofficial Women's World Cup contests before 1991!

Before the Women's World Cup began officially, it didn't stop teams from hosting their own competitions in the four decades leading up to the China competition. The Federation of Independent European Female Football (FIEFF) set up their own competitions in the early 70s!

9. The trophy is 47 Beanos tall!

The trophy is 47cm tall, weighs around 10 pounds and gleams with 23-karat yellow and white gold. In 2015, it had an estimated value of £23,000. So that's something to keep a careful eye on! Magpies would love this, basically – it's so shiny!

10. Winners wear a special badge until the next final has been won!

When a team has won the World Cup, they're allowed to put a special badge on their shirts until the next final has been contested! It's basically a fashionable way to brag about how great your team is and will put fear into the hearts of any opponents!

11. Brazil star Marta is the leading goalscorer in Women's World Cup history!

A goal hitting the back of the net

Brazilian forward Marta is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers. She holds several records, including the most goals scored overall in Women's World Cup history. She has scored 115 times for her country and 17 in World Cup matches! She scored 7 in the 2007 competition alone!

12. Germany have won the Women's World Cup twice!

Along with record holders USA, Germany is another fearsome team in women's football. They've won the tournament twice (2003 and 2007)!

13. The 2023 Women's World Cup took steps for equality!

FIFA revealed that starting from the 2023 Women's World Cup, the prize money for the women's tournament would be equal to that of the men's competition. Quite right too! The total prize money for the 2023 tournament was $110 million, which is $80 million more than the previous competition!

14. Spain won the Women's World Cup for the first time in 2023!

Spain lifted the Women's World Cup trophy for the very first time in 2023, beating England in a fiercely contested game. Olga Carmona scored in the 20th minute, ensuring a victory for the La Roja (which means 'the Red' in Spanish).

15. 2023 was a very special year for the Lionesses!

After winning the Euros the previous year, the England team – the Lionesses – had their eye on the ultimate football prize. They won every game in their group stage, then saw off Nigeria, Colombia and Australia to get to the final. Their dreams were dashed by Spain, who won 1-0 – but it was so close!