France 2019 is looming as a game-changer for women’s football, says Matildas striker Lisa De Vanna.
The 34-year-old veteran is on the cusp of her fourth FIFA Women’s Cup as Australia prepare to launch their campaign against Italy on Sunday evening (kick off 9:00pm AEST).
And according to De Vanna – the Matildas all-time leading goal scorer – this year’s tournament could be one of the most competitive editions yet.
While World Cup favouritism has traditionally been dominated by one or two nations, the field in France is open as it has ever been, with a number of sides looking to topple reigning champions and world no. 1 USA.
“You ask who are the favourites and there’s not just one or two teams now. There’s about five or six teams that can potentially win it," De Vanna said.
“This World Cup is definitely is going to shake up women’s football. It’s going to put it on the map and it’s going to change the game not just in Australia but everywhere.”
With 148 caps for the Matildas, De Vanna enters the 2019 World Cup on the verge of eclipsing legendary defender Cheryl Salisbury’s national team record of 151 appearances.
But the WA-born attacker isn’t looking past Sunday’s Group C opener against Le Azzurre.
“We need to get the three points against Italy. I’ve been in the team for ten years and I have thought too far ahead and the outcome always disappointed me," De Vanna continued.
"This time around, I’m going to take each game as it comes. There’s little challenges that we want to achieve and the first is to win the first game against Italy.”
World Cup France 2019™ – Group C – Australia Matches
Australia v Italy
Date: Sunday, 9 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes
Kick-off: 9.00pm AEST (1.00pm local time, same day)
Australia v Brazil
Date: Friday, 14 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier
Kick-off: 2.00am AEST (6.00pm local time, Thursday 13 June)
Jamaica v Australia
Date: Wednesday, 19 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade des Alpes, Grenoble
Kick-off: 5.00am AEST (9.00pm local time, Tuesday 18 June)
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