What happens when soccer players get pregnant? End of career or comeback? And how are the conditions for a comeback? National player Melanie Leupolz is currently playing through this scenario. She wants to be a role model and emulate a German Wimbledon sensation.
National soccer player Melanie Leupolz also wants to pave the way with her pregnancy during her active career. With the support of the association and the environment, "a return is absolutely possible. I want to be a role model and show: 'You don't have to choose between family and career'," said the 28-year-old from Chelsea to the news portal t-online.
In this regard, Wimbledon semi-finalist Tatjana Maria "shows in an impressive way that it's possible," said Leupolz, who will miss the European Championships in England that begin on Wednesday due to her pregnancy.
The midfielder initially had an "uncomfortable feeling about telling those responsible about my pregnancy. The coach is planning one". But all the reactions were positive, including from national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg: "Martina told me that that was the best reason to cancel such a tournament."
Leupolz is the first expectant mother at Chelsea. "When I found out about my pregnancy, I first googled what rights competitive athletes have in such cases - but you can't find anything," she said. The former Bayern player received "much better support from the English champions than what they had to offer".
Leupolz would like to take his time for the comeback after the birth: "I don't feel any pressure to have to come back quickly. The most important things are the family and our child."
At the European Championships, the 2016 Olympic champion and 2013 European champion believes the DFB team will do well as one of the favourites: "But I'm confident that we'll have a successful tournament." Record European champions Germany will play their first group game on Friday (9 p.m./ZDF, DAZN and in the live ticker on ntv.de) against vice-European champions Denmark.