Giulia Gwinn, a star player for Germany, admits that things were “a bit” unusual before the Women’s European Championships this summer. It was not because of anything she or any of her teammates said or did. It was simply due to the fact that the eight-time European champions were just not being spoken about as probable winners. This was the root cause.
The team captained by Martina Voss-Tecklenburg started the year 2022 with a record of one win, one draw, and three losses in their first five matches. At the Arnold Clark Cup in February, there were extenuating circumstances due to injuries and Covid-19, but a loss to Serbia by the score of 3-2 in April further strengthened the growing belief that this team wouldn’t be ready to fight for the crown at the European Championships in England.
All of that, however, was put to rest in June when Germany competed in their one and only pre-tournament friendly match.
“It was more that we put ourselves under pressure because we know what type of talent we have and we know what kind of players we have,” he said. “We know what kind of players we have.”
“Then, it’s just demonstrating this because, in the past, we also had those games in which we didn’t really get it on the pitch, and everyone was like, “Nah, Germany, they’re not going to accomplish anything this tournament.”
Then, we defeated Switzerland by a score of 7-0. Everyone was saying something along the lines of, “They’re going to win!”
The dialogue that was going on outside was altered as a result of their neighbors being routed.
But the primary reason that this squad has had such a wonderful tournament so far – beating Denmark 4-0, Spain 2-0, and Finland 3-0 in the group stages to set up a quarter-final match against Austria – is not because they are focused on matching the expectations of others in the competition.
“I believe that the most pressure is coming from within.” “defender Sophia Kleinherne believes. “We have set ourselves the goal of competing in the most successful competition we can.
“As a unit, we are prepared to handle situations like that. Everyone on the team, from the players to the kit guys, has their sights set on and is working toward achieving this goal.
There is a rationale to why they place such a high level of pressure on themselves. After all, this is a great team that is more than capable of taking home the trophy for the Euros. When one examines the roster of players, the information is readily apparent.
They boast one of Germany’s all-time best players in Alexandra Popp, who is also a multi-talented leader and has won the Champions League twice.
Her highlight reel in this tournament up to this point only serves to further bolster the assertion that Goalkeeper Merle Frohms is without a doubt one of the best in the world.
Then there are the rising young talents who are building a name for themselves, like as Klara Buhl and Nicole Anyomi, who both scored goals for England over the summer of this year.
It is not just the expertise of a player like Popp, but also the experience of others who are still in their early 20s that contributes to the success of this club. For instance, both Oberdorf and Gwinn have already competed in important tournaments.
Oberdorf, who is now an indispensable member of this team, remarked, “I don’t recognize that I’m 20.” When I’m on the field, I get the impression that everyone views me as if I were a player who is 28 years old.
“On the field, I put all thoughts about my age aside and focus solely on playing the game, enjoying myself, and engaging in competitive duels since that is where I excel.
Gwinn was awarded the title of Best Young Player at the 2019 World Cup, and she has expressed interest in passing on her “experience” to the other members of the team. She will turn 23 this year.
She added that because there was a gap of three years between the two competitions, she felt that she had gained greater self-assurance. “We have a lot of young guys, so I’ll just be thrilled to be back on the pitch after tearing my [ACL].”
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that they are the side to beat at this point in the Euros.
They have a tremendous winning attitude and the ability to cope with pressure as a result of the fact that they have been under it so frequently with both club and nation. They have leadership, talent, and belief throughout the entire squad.
When taken together, all of this is going to be extremely difficult to halt. Denmark, which came in second place in 2017, made an attempt but was unsuccessful. Spain, who many people thought would win the tournament before it started, didn’t even come close. Finland, who scored against the latter team in their group-stage clash after less than a minute had passed, attempted but was unsuccessful.
The next team in line is Austria, which currently has 13 players competing in the domestic league of Germany. They have a wealth of knowledge regarding their adversary. They are aware of both their collective and individual capabilities, including their strengths and flaws.
However, it is one thing to devise a strategy to stop them, and it is an entirely different thing to actually be able to carry out that strategy.