With the focus on the World Cup in Germany this summer, the German women soccer players deserve more credit. The women's team is ranked number one in the world, but is generally overshadowed by male counterparts.
The German Women's team is continues to sweep all before them
The Germans -- World and European champions -- beat the United States 4-3 Wednesday to take the Algarve Cup for the first time. The game remained goalless after 120 minutes, with the match ending in a penalty-shot shootout.
Despite their 16 shots on goal during regulation time, the Americans were unable to win the title. "It was a good game by both teams," said US head coach Greg Rayn. "It think we played much better this year. Last year, I thought Germany dominated the game and we were fortunate to score the goal and defend well. I think in this match we were the aggressive team, attacking throughout the game."
The game was a rematch of last year's final, which the world's number-two-ranked American team won 1-0.
Britta Carlson scores in Germany's successful European championship campaign
As number one, the German women's team, however, should get more of the limelight in the national public eye.
German women soccer players have achieved what the men can only dream of: They've won the European Championships five times; they won two Olympic bronze medals in Sydney and Athens and in 2003; they won the World Championship. It makes the German team one of the most successful women's national football teams in the world.
But judging from the amount of money coming from sponsors, women players have an image problem. And they have to put up with stereotypes: Men ask women in soccer whether their fields are smaller or the matches are shorter or if the girls play with balls made from soft foam.
Girls training with the German Women's Team
There was a time when men didn't like women to play football at all. Until 1970, the German Football Federation banned women from playing professionally. And although there is more acceptance of women players now, male dominance can still be seen in the structure of the Federation: The decision-makers are mostly men. There are women representatives, but usually only one per federation, if at all.
Some things have changed, however. These days winning major competitions means cash prizes for women in football.