Women's World Cup: Why 10-0 scores aren't shocking

Ivory Coast's Dominique Thiamale

"And Germany have double figures," roared the commentator.

Alexandra Popp had just bent a beautifully crafted left-footed free-kick past a dejected Dominique Thiamale in the Ivory Coast goal.

The goalkeeper puffed her cheeks, picked herself up and stared on helplessly, presumably looking for the nearest hole to swallow her up.

International tournament football can be brutal and this year's Women's World Cup is proving no different.

Alexandra Popp scores for Germany

Yet Germany's 10-0 win over Ivory Coast in their opening group game should come as no surprise.

The gulf between the World Cup's best and worst teams is enormous. Maybe even big enough for Jose Mourinho to park one of those buses he keeps mentioning.

The gap is even more evident in Canada because for the first time ever 24 teams are now competing, eight more than in the last four tournaments.

By increasing the number of places there are now more teams from lower down the world rankings.

It's no secret that in women's football the power is heavily concentrated towards the top of the game.

There are 66 places in the rankings between the world's best team Germany and Ivory Coast.

Every single one of them was evident during the Group B match, with poorly organised team shape and ill-disciplined defending.

Many of the lower ranked World Cup teams are filled with players who have to work outside the game to make a living.

That inevitably leads to less time on the training pitch and reduces the impact a coach or manager can have on their side.

Compare that to the world's best teams who enjoy state of the art training facilities, full-time players to choose from and some of the game's best coaches and Germany's huge win feels slightly less surprising.

Germany celebrate a goal

And we could see more of the same - with Cameroon, 53 in the world rankings, meeting fourth placed Japan in the group stages.

Critics have questioned whether the expansion of the World Cup this year is actually a good thing if it leads to cricket-like scores.

The likelihood is the gap will continue to grow between the best and worst teams because of the rate of improvement in those countries at the top.

Players in the United States team can already command an income of up to $2m (£1.3m) a year through endorsements.

And the Women's Super League in England has established itself as a semi-professional format and salaries are improving up to about £60,000 a year.

So the next time a commentator mentions the words "double figures" you know not to act surprised.

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