For the last 16 years, the German women’s national team has been “there.”
Creative, fun, and talented, Germany has always given its fans — and supporters of its opponents — something good to watch during international competitions.
What Germany has not done, however, is work its way past the countries that have emerged as the new generation of football powers like the United States, England, France, Japan, and Sweden.
Can this be the World Cup where Germany not only plays an entertaining brand of football, but also re-captures a trophy that it always looked like that it was meant to have in its grasp?
In 2007, Germany had won its second consecutive FIFA Women’s World Cup and it seemed that the team would always be among the world powers.
For the most part, that has worked out to be true, but Germany has not found a way to break through against squads like the United States, England, France, Sweden, and Japan that now come to be the most consistent on the big stage.
In a recent interview with FIFA.com, Germany boss Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s indicated that she thinks 2023 is looking very good to her team.
“We want to be contenders for the title, to be a team who could be world champions,” said Voss-Tecklenburg, who was a sensational attacking player in her day. “That’s cool, a good feeling, and I think if everyone stays fit we can be a team to beat.”
Voss-Tecklenburg’s coaching style puts players in control of the action on the pitch and seeks to balance a strong mentality, creativity, drive, and an energetic style of play.
“I want to trust players to make decisions, to think about attacking and be creative. We want to have courageous players. We want them to develop a joy and passion for playing. I think we showed that at the Euros last year, with our defending, and with our willingness to counter-attack and play the ball straight away,” said Voss-Tecklenburg. “That [style] means always being active and alert. We work on that both on and off the pitch – and our amazing players create a positive atmosphere, which is the basis for success.”
Germany’s roster is littered with seasoned veterans like defender Marina Hegering (VfL Wolfsburg), midfielders Sara Däbritz (Olympique Lyonnais), Melanie Leupolz (Chelsea FC), and Lina Magull (Bayern Munich), and attacker Alexandra Popp (VfL Wolfsburg) to name a few. That experience should come in handy and Popp could be the catalyst for everything.
“Alex lives and breathes football,” says the Germany coach. “She’s a special player. She’s very dangerous around the goal because she has a good instincts and can go for any type of goal. She’s possibly the best header of the ball in the world.
“That’s why we’ve got her at No. 9, because we want to play from the wings. She plays with her heart and gives everything for the team from the first to the last. She is a big motivator for young players and has matured well into a role model.”
However, those veteran players are not alone. Germany has some tremendous young talent as well. With a tremendous group from Bayern Munich in Klara Bühl, Lea Schüller, and Sydney Lohmann, plus 21-year-old midfielder Lena Oberdorf, Germany has a potent mix of experience and youth that could be the perfect mix for this World Cup.
“When you see Lena play, you forget how young she is,” Voss-Tecklenburg says. “She’s a fantastic player. She’s a great character and has a feel for defending. Our players say she’s a machine in duels. She is a great tackler and, when she wins the ball, she always has a great solution to keep the ball in our possession. When Lena Oberdorf is on the pitch, we’re better than when she isn’t.”
Can this be the World Cup for Germany to get back atop the footballing world?
Voss-Tecklenburg has a tantalizing mix of players on its roster and the group will be looking to harken back to the days of 2003 and 2007 where Germany reigned supreme in the aughts.
If not now...then when?
Barring injury, this is the group that will take the pitch for the German
Goalkeepers: Ann-Katrin Berger (Chelsea FC), Merle Frohms (VFL Wolfsburg), Stina Johannes (Eintracht Frankfurt), Ena Mahmutovic (Duisburg)
Defenders: Sara Doorsoun (Eintracht Frankfurt), Marina Hegering (VfL Wolfsburg), Kathrin Hendrich (VfL Wolfsburg), Sophia Kleinherne (Eintracht Frankfurt), Sarai Linder (1899 Hoffenheim), Sjoeke Nüsken (Eintracht Frankfurt), Felicitas Rauch (VfL Wolfsburg), Carolin Simon (Bayern Munich)
Midfielders: Sara Däbritz (Olympique Lyonnais), Chantal Hagel (1899 Hoffenheim), Svenja Huth (VfL Wolfsburg), Paulina Krumbiegel (1899 Hoffenheim), Lena Lattwein (VfL Wolfsburg), Melanie Leupolz (Chelsea FC), Lina Magull (Bayern Munich), Lena Oberdorf (VfL Wolfsburg)
Forwards: Alexandra Popp (VfL Wolfsburg), Nicole Anyomi (Eintracht Frankfurt), Jule Brand (VfL Wolfsburg), Klara Bühl (Bayern Munich), Laura Freigang (Eintracht Frankfurt), Lea Schüller (Bayern Munich), Tabea Waßmuth (VfL Wolfsburg), Sydney Lohmann (Bayern Munich).