However, with the recent announcement that the FIFA 2023 Women’s World Cup will be held in Australia and New Zealand jointly, football fans are rekindling their interest in the global competition. The Matildas, the national Australian team, was particularly excited considering the male squad’s 2022 bid was denied.
For the Australian women’s national team, the chance to host and compete at-home is a high privilege. However, they’ll have to battle it out amongst other competitive teams like the US and English national teams. Looking through each group’s record shows the US has the edge, but the Matildas and the Lionesses aren’t far behind in their list of accolades.
And, in the case of the US and Australian teams, the female footballers are competing amongst themselves, as neither nation has a male squad worth mentioning.
The Matildas: At-Home and Abroad
With a difference of only 33 points, the English national team sits just ahead of the Australian national team in terms of points from FIFA in their world ranking scheme. The highest rank the Matilda’s have achieved in the World Cup was 6th place (runners-up) in the 2007 competition and an Olympic high of 5th place (quarter-finals) in the 2004 Olympic Games.
However, the Matildas have dominated their OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) Women’s Championship competitions, having won the last three in 1994, 1998, and 2003. After switching over to the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) in 2006, the Matilda’s have taken home one first-place (2010).
The team’s shift to the AFC has seen the Matilda’s elevate their grade of competition, thus improving the team’s international readiness. In 2017, the national squad headed to the US to compete in the Tournament of Nations, held between the US, Australia, Japan, and Brazil. There, they took home their first championship title from the Tournament of Nations.
Going forward, the women’s national team has plenty of preparation for the FIFA 2023 Women’s World Cup—especially as naysayers question the economic viability of the tournament. A strong performance from the Matildas will help quell any withstanding questions about hosting the tournament, as well as deliver on the coveted homefield victory experience.
USWNT & the Lionesses: Battle of SheBelieves
Compared to the number of spectators for male tournaments, competitions like the FIFA Women’s World Cup see less engagement—especially when compared to national leagues England’s Premier League.
However, in countries like the US, where the women’s team outshines the male squad, this may not always be the case. At the moment, analysts offering major league wagers on national sports dive deep into player profiles and team dynamics to see how the competition stacks up in the MLS.
In the future, should the Women’s World Cup gain steam and the USWNT continue winning, it will be easy for sportsbooks to pivot to analyze players like Megan Rapinoe and Julie Ertz. As the Women’s World Cup nears, engagement with the competition is expected to build on 2019’s increasing fanbases in Europe and Brazil.
Tournaments like the SheBelieves Cup and the Tournament of Nations are helping to draw more attention to international women’s competitions. The invitational has been held since 2016 and is currently contested between the US, England, Japan, and Spain.
However, the SheBelieves Cup is considered a minor tournament for the Lionesses of England. The squad regularly competes in the UEFA European Championship—though the closest they’ve come to a champion title was their 2017 semi-final run.
In 2022, England will host the UEFA Women’s Championship, where the squad is expected to have the edge against other European competitors. However, nothing quite tops seeing the world’s greatest talents, like England’s Fara Williams, the US’s Megan Rapinoe, and Australia’s Sam Kerr battle it out on the field with athleticism and precision worthy of true champions.