At the European Football Championship in England, Ann-Katrin Berger is only on the bench, but as runner-up in Europe she experiences many beautiful moments with the DFB team. But now a shock diagnosis is knocking her legs off for the second time: The 31-year-old has thyroid cancer for the second time.
Ann-Katrin Berger has fought this difficult battle before - and she wants to win it again after the recent shock diagnosis. "Unfortunately, after four cancer-free years, a recurrence was discovered in my thyroid," wrote the German national soccer goalkeeper on Instagram on Tuesday. She added: "As an athlete you have to fight every day and I will do that."
Many of her fellow players from the EM squad, such as Alex Popp and Lina Magull, as well as colleagues from her club FC Chelsea, commented with hearts and encouraging words. You know the story behind the post: In November 2017, the then 27-year-old was diagnosed with an aggressive form of thyroid cancer.
"It was one of the biggest challenges in my life. It shaped me and it made me bigger, stronger and more ambitious," she told Sport Bild at the time. Now she is working "closely with the club doctor and a specialist in London," wrote Berger, "my treatment will begin this week." She is "confident" that this will hit as well as the first time. She wants to lead her fight publicly to be an inspiration to others affected.
The German Football Association (DFB) named "private reasons" for Berger's absence in the nomination for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers at noon. Later, the European Championship second, who had not played at the European Championships in England, reported herself. She wanted to speak directly to her fans: The cancer was back.
In 2017, the bad diagnosis shocked her severely, but did not knock her down. "A psychologist was also present when we talked to the doctor. You knew what to tell me right away," she reported in 2021. She only had two questions: "My first was whether I was going to die. The second, whether I I can play football again if I don't die." She did that impressively.
"We are all behind you, Ann," Chelsea FC tweeted on Tuesday. Behind her club put a blue heart.