Frankfurt/London (dpa) – With high expectations and full of anticipation, but without much pressure from the DFB President, the German soccer players are tackling the EM.
National coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg was the first to get off the bus at the team hotel in London-Brentford – and you could see the tension behind the mask. “I’m not someone who says the women have to get to the final or the semi-finals, otherwise it’s a disappointment,” emphasized association boss Bernd Neuendorf. Voss-Tecklenburg once again warned of the tough competition for the record European champions in England.
Neuendorf will not give the DFB women any specifications for the cut. “I’ve always emphasized that I’m not a president who says: You have to get so far,” said the 60-year-old of the German Press Agency. “I trust the coaching staff.”
Defender Sara Doorsoun from Eintracht Frankfurt has long understood it this way: “We want to win the title.” “Total anticipation” prevails not only with the experienced Wolfsburg player Almuth Schult, who has to give way to the Frankfurt goalkeeper Merle Frohms. Attacking player Linda Dallmann from FC Bayern said on arrival: “I think this tournament has another dimension. England has done great things.”
At the start of the European Championship against Denmark
Of course, everyone in the 23rd squad around captain Alexandra Popp is dreaming of the final at Wembley Stadium on July 31st. Practically everything is at stake for the eight-time European champion on Friday, July 8 (9 p.m. / ZDF) in London-Brentford against the 2017 European Championship runners-up. “The start against Denmark is our main game – that’s our focus.” , said assistant trainer Britta Carlson.
Germany failed in the quarter-finals in 2017 against the team led by former Wolfsburg player Pernille Harder – at that time still under national coach Steffi Jones. A defeat against Denmark would put the 2016 Olympic champions and 2003 and 2007 world champions under enormous pressure in the second group match against title contenders Spain (12 July). Outsider Finland is the last preliminary round opponent on July 16th. In the quarter-finals, there is a risk of a knockout game against hosts England, who opened the European Championship on Wednesday in a sold-out Old Trafford in Manchester with a game against Austria.
The mission: Back to the top of the world
As a player, Voss-Tecklenburg was there four times when she triumphed at the European Championship – but she doesn’t want to know much about it anymore. “Without wanting to belittle the achievements of previous years: the level is tactically, technically, athletically much higher,” said the 54-year-old in an interview with the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” on the current status of the world class, where Germany is not yet again, but again want: “That is our job, and I would also like to win as a coach with the DFB title. But it’s gotten harder and a lot of people haven’t gotten to it yet.”
Voss-Tecklenburg basically had three years to repeat her team at the tournament in England after the bitter World Cup quarter-finals in 2019 against Sweden and the missed Olympic participation. Neuendorf visited the DFB women in one of their two training camps in Herzogenaurach and gained “a great impression”. He didn’t have the feeling that there was a problem somewhere in the preparation: “That’s the best prerequisite for doing very well. I trust them.”
The national coach fears that many would expect German soccer players to have to win every tournament. “It’s important to me that it’s clear: It will be very close at this European Championship and there will also be luck and small things. We’ll have cool opponents who can really do something,” said Voss-Tecklenburg.