DFB team in semi-final against France (nd-aktuell.de)

Jule Brand (left) and the DFB women also impress with their fitness, like here in the quarter-final against Austria.

Jule Brand (left) and the DFB women also impress with their fitness, like here in the quarter-final against Austria.

Photo: imago/Beautiful Sports

It was a welcome change to have dinner at a famous venue in the heart of London, away from the team’s headquarters. The entire entourage of the German team, almost 80 people with all their companions, went to a Tower Bridge restaurant on Sunday. The atmosphere at this team event was said to be excellent as well. The good mood ahead of Wednesday’s highly anticipated Euro semi-final against France is fueled by the fact that record European champions Germany are once again treated as true title contenders. And the basis for this is top-level physical condition.

Only with the French is there a rival in the Milton Keynes headquarters that exhausts the physical component in another way. National coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg has the utmost respect in this regard: “We know that France have fantastic individual players with a lot of speed. It will be a game of equals, where the little things make the difference.« Who wins which duel? Who makes what meter?

It is no coincidence that the best German players also set athletic standards: goalkeeper Merle Frohms with her jumping ability, defender Marina Hegering and the clearer Lena Oberdorf with her robustness, goalscorer Alexandra Popp with her header power. And right-back Giulia Gwinn is once again a support because she came back much more stable after tearing her cruciate ligament. The 23-year-old confirmed this Monday at the last press conference on the Gran Unión channel the thesis that only those who are fully trained can break anything. »If you want to be at the top of Europe, you have to bring that with you. Our fitness is at a high level, so we had a lot of preparation.« According to Gwinn, each player is in close coordination with the coaching staff specialists.

Assistant coach Britta Carlson is now even “almost too much.” For her, it was important to pass on the praise for the good physical condition – evidenced also by the extremely low injury rate since the preparations for the European Championships in early June – to the clubs. “We can’t even figure that out in three or four weeks.” The former national player smiled about her time at Turbine Potsdam with Bernd Schröder: “We trained three times a day there.” But the 44-year-old also supports the thesis that today’s active people refine their physical constitution “much more professionally”. Nobody walks with michelines anymore.

There is no doubt that England, Sweden, France and Germany are well deserved on the threshold of the Wembley final next Sunday. But none of the quartet excelled at football in the quarterfinals. Or even set new trends. It all seemed mostly honest hard work. All threw physical advantages into the balance; otherwise the safe combination of the Spaniards would still be playing. Not surprisingly, the forceful England midfielder, Fran Kirby, says that she fears the Scandinavian style almost more than the Spanish ahead of the Swedes in Sheffield. “He is going to be very physical. All the Swedes I played against were physically very strong. « Bruises are guaranteed.

The question inevitably arises as to whether there is still room for improvement in women’s football in this regard. Patrik Grolimund, who, as assistant coach, holds the beautiful title of “Head of Performance and Development” and is responsible for athletics, says: “Football is at the limit of its physical capabilities for men and women.” It’s not to say that 41-year-olds haven’t tried a lot of so-called “gadgets,” ie other tools to optimize performance. However, it is often about load control and power management.

Grolimund does not give up in his daily activities. Constantly boost players with quick commands as they warm up. Woe to anyone who moves too slowly! Eventually, he will have to push himself to the limit again to progress against France and fulfill his dream of a final at Wembley. If necessary, Gwinn reminded us with a meaningful smile, “we also need 120 minutes.”

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