Mesmerizing photos of the Women's World Cup, which was filled with fierce competition, talented players, and historic moments
Alessandra Tarantino/AP Photo
- The 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup came to a close on July 7 - the United States beat Netherlands 2-0 for the championship.
- The tournament was filled with talent, but it was also a giant stage for international female footballers who are fighting for gender equality surrounding the sport - that includes equal pay, exposure, playing time, and opportunity.
- The games were played in different stadiums around France, which proved to be an overall stunning backdrop for the tournament.
- Photographers captured everything from the beautiful views to perfectly-timed action shots. Take a look at some of the best photos taken during the tournament.
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Former US goalkeeper Briana Scurry said that the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup tournament was like a tree falling in a forest with no one around. "It happened," the 1999 champion said. "But nobody saw or heard it."
In 2019, the United States Women's National Team is making sure everyone hears them.
Team USA has been spearheading the conversation and leading a push for gender equality in global women's football leagues. But while we've been hearing from the American women as they continue on their 2019 world cup victory tour, they aren't the only ones from the tournament who are pushing for change.
Team Chile has been fighting for national recognition for several years. By 2016, FIFA had assigned an "inactive" status to 10 national teams across South America after they were neglected by their teams' governing bodies - the status effectively revoked any world ranking they had worked to achieve, and this recent tournament was their first time on the global stage.
Teams under the Confederation of African Football have been fighting against a leader who has been accused of "corruption and sexual harassment." Teams Cameroon, Nigeria, and South Africa are all part of the CAF and participated in the 2019 tournament.
Similar issues stretch across the entire globe: Women's football was actually illegal in Brazil until 1981; some girls in the UK aren't allowed to play soccer in gym class, according to a 2018 article by The Guardian; Team Nigeria won the 2016 African Women's Cup of Nations, and they staged a sit-in at their hotel demanding "unpaid salaries and bonuses" after their win.
The list goes on.
As more and more national teams fight for equality, professionals hope opportunities for women to play - and subsequently, the level of women's play - around the world increases.
This year's Women's World Cup proved to be filled with talented players and fierce competition, and the tournament was an important moment for all of them.
Take a look at some of the best photos capturing mesmerizing moments from the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.