After such a nerve-wracking game as the 2-1 win against France in the European Championship semi-finals, the obligatory photo of the winner from the German team couldn’t be left out. Stupid only when the decisive woman is not there and is being voted the best player of the game.
Without further ado, Almuth Schult grabbed her teammates and together they ran in the direction of Alexandra Popp. Because if Popp doesn’t come to the team, they’ll come to her. A situation that illustrates the great team spirit in the German team. “The team, to be honest, is great. She has my back and is happy with me after my story of suffering,” said Popp. “I’ve never experienced such a team spirit as here.”
But it’s not just celebrating successes together that creates team spirit. Rather, it’s the little things on and off the pitch. Before the kick-off, Giulia Gwinn holds up the jersey of her teammate Klara Bühl, who contracted Corona on Tuesday and was therefore absent against France.
A gesture that the DFB team showed after Lea Schüller’s absence due to the corona virus. What seems so trivial has a much greater meaning. In the squad of the German team at this tournament, everyone counts and everyone is aware of their important role.
There is support on the pitch, cheered on from outside and sometimes even tactical briefings, such as 20 minutes before the end against France when Sydney Lohmann came on as a substitute and Laura Freigang gave her the final tactical guidelines.
The substitutes all contribute to a successful tournament. At the beginning of the European Championship it was unclear whether the team would find each other so quickly, but the team once again impressively proved that they succeeded. “My thoughts are with pure pride in this achievement, in these players, in the way we made the game today. The players did that today, from No. 1 to No. 23, and it’s so deserved,” said Martina Voss-Tecklenburg.
And the national coach went on to say: “We’ve become such a bunch here who support each other everywhere and I think you really felt and saw that on the field today.”
The fact that a classic substitute like Jule Brand then works like this, who until two days ago probably didn’t have the faintest idea that she would suddenly play in the semi-finals of a European championship from the start, is also a result of the strong team spirit.
“Jule knew what she had to do, but you can’t expect her to do it like that at the age of 19. But the others also help her and give her their trust and keep pushing her,” said Voss-Tecklenburg.
Germany seems determined, is passionate and has a great greed for success. And because no nation has yet won a European Championship because of mentality alone, the German team also has the necessary footballing quality. In the final against England on Sunday at Wembley, the combination of both factors will be decisive and as Voss-Tecklenburg said at the beginning of the tournament: “First someone has to beat us.”