BERLIN — With France set to face defending champions and hosts Germany at the women's World Cup on Tuesday, members of the French squad say they have posed naked for pictures to draw attention to their sport.
Juvisy forward Gaetine Thiney, 25, plus Olympique Lyon's Elodie Thomis, 24, and Corine Franco, 27, said they posed provocatively for the pictures which appear in Sunday's edition of Bild to spark controversy and generate publicity.
The trio posed for the pictures under the motto: "Is this how we should show up before you come to our games?"
Fresh from their 4-0 hammering of Canada last week, in which Thiney scored twice and Thomis also netted, the trio said they want to draw attention to their sport and create some debate of the women's game.
"The pictures have come out really nice and I really like them," Thiney told Bild.
"We wanted to provoke and to generate some discussion."
The French star also praised hosts Germany, who have won the last two World Cups, where she says the women's game is far more advanced than in her country.
"Women's football here has developed well and already taken a step further than in France."
But Thiney said it was important the French players now back up the attention-seeking pictures off the pitch with success on the field.
"We will try to get more attention through our success," she said with an eye on Tuesday's match against Germany in Moenchengladbach.
The hosts also got in on the act last month when players from Germany's womens league posed for Playboy.
Players from Bayern Munich, Guetersloh and Wolfsburg left little to the imagination in their football-themed pictures.