The DFB team is not one of the top favorites at the women's European Football Championship. National coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg does not want to be irritated by this. She says clearly: "We want to play for the title." In an interview, she explains what makes her team so dangerous.
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, you said that Germany might not be one of the top favorites at the European Championships in England after many personnel problems. Does your team go into the tournament as a piñata?
Voss-Tecklenburg: Yes, that's an image that fits. But that doesn't have to be bad at all, because we might also be a grab bag for our opponents. We want to use this to our advantage. Through the preparation we grew together, everything worked out and in the end even exceeded our expectations.
Do you see half of the 16 participating nations in the group of favourites, including Germany?
We want to play for the title, yes. We have a really challenging group, starting with runners-up Denmark, who just play good football and have great players. They want to reach the quarter-finals just like Spain and we do. And then there's Finland, a team that will throw everything in. Nothing will be a sure-fire success at this European Championship. So the quarter-finals is our first goal.
It could go against the highly motivated hosts from England...
Exactly, and that's a 50:50 game. Of course football is a result sport, of course we want to get the right results. But we also know that we are still in a process and maybe the performance is great, but the result is still not right in the end. That's why I'm in favor of going out on the pitch first, performing and evaluating afterwards.
Most recently, Germany failed in the quarter-finals of both the European and World Cups. Do you feel the pressure that this shouldn't happen again to the eight-time European champions?
We're going to England and we want to win every game. We have our work to do, I don't have to worry about the next steps. That's not good for us either. If we get off to a good start in the tournament, I'm convinced that a lot is possible. That brings us back to the piñata: I really have a lot of confidence in us. But we have to see if everything fits. It also depends on game moments, injuries, corona failures - that's why we have to evaluate everything in the end.
Do you generally think that the competition will not like to play against the DFB team - does that mean you also want to be a nasty opponent?
That also has this consequence, logically. But I think we still want to define ourselves mostly through our football. That will be our goal: we can stress every opponent because we know that we have fast players up front and we know how to use them, what our transition game should look like. We need great compactness to properly stress the opponent in a disorder. Then it won't be pleasant for the opposing defense against us either.
You have already mentioned group opponents Denmark, Spain and Finland. What distinguishes each of them?
Denmark play as a team, they function through their team spirit, even if they have great individual players like Pernille Harder. If it performs really well, then the others grow too. Spain have very clean football when it comes to possession, which is why they are so difficult to get into duels. They have a great self-image, the players simply dare to do anything. And Finland has the physical element, they come with all the toughness, they have a great mentality and they always want to push the pace forward too.
There's a lot of talk about the hype surrounding women's football in England, with the opening game at Old Trafford, the final at Wembley - what kind of atmosphere do you expect at the tournament?
I'm a bit conflicted because I don't know if the games without English participation will draw as many spectators as this. At the Arnold Clark Cup in England in February we only had 200 spectators against Spain. It remains to be seen how the football-crazy English will react to this European Championship. Of course, I would like them to support football as a whole.
Jana Lange from the Sport Information Service (SID) spoke to Martina Voss-Tecklenburg