It has been three years since Almuth Schult last played a game for the national team. Back then, Germany narrowly lost to Sweden in the quarter-finals of the 2019 World Cup and was eliminated. A lot has happened with the German goalkeeper since then.
She became the mother of twins, was repeatedly thrown back by injuries and finally left VfL Wolfsburg for Angel City FC in the USA in the summer.
For the European Championship this year, she fought her way back into the DFB team, but initially had to sit on the bench. Merle Frohms has meanwhile become number one in the German goal. The 31-year-old has not yet played in her new club.
In the last qualifier on Tuesday at the Lokomotiv Stadium in Plovdiv (6:30 p.m./One) for the World Cup in a year in Australia and New Zealand, for which the German soccer players qualified on Saturday, Schult will now be in the starting XI against Bulgaria.
“If she’s healthy, she’ll definitely play,” said national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg on Monday. In principle, Voss-Tecklenburg would like to give all field players playing time in addition to Schult. “We will definitely rotate a lot.”
This should also give players like Sjoeke Nüsken or Jana Feldkamp their chance who didn’t make it into the squad for the European Championship in England.
The DFB team has already qualified, but according to Sara Däbritz they still want to give their all against the Bulgarians, who probably play a similarly destructive style as Turkey on Saturday. “Of course we’re happy that we qualified after the last game. Nevertheless, we want to play a good game and get three points,” said Däbritz.
In Plovdiv, the national team expect difficult pitch conditions against the Bulgarians who have not had any points so far. According to Voss-Tecklenburg, there is a fear “that the general conditions are not good, that worries me a bit.”
It should still be a special day for Schult. “Almuth is an absolute team player and extremely important for the team on and off the pitch with their qualities,” says Däbritz. “She deserves to play again for an international match.”
The national coach is also positive about Schult. “We want to take the chance that Almuth will finally play for us. For her, the EM was not what she had imagined. But she gives us added value in all areas as a person and as a team player,” says Voss-Tecklenburg. “We want to give Almuth the support she deserves.”