Despite this month’s Algarve Cup being cut short, Germany manager Martina Voss-Tecklenburg was satisfied with her team’s overall performance.
It was the first time in five years that Germany had featured in the Algarve Cup, and speaking to FIFA.com, manager and former German international, Voss-Tecklenburg, revealed that the “team and the coaching staff [were] happy”, following their Algarve Cup display.
Along with Italy, Germany reach this year’s final that was supposed to take place on 11 March, but was subsequently cancelled due to Coronavirus fears. It remains unsaid whether a team will be declared as winners or instead the tournament will be simply forgotten about amongst a global pandemic; with the footballing world expecting the latter.
Despite the disappointment of making it to a final that quite possibly won’t be played, Voss-Tecklenburg and her squad seem to have remained positive.
“Although we only ended up playing two matches, we are very satisfied with the Algarve Cup for various reasons. We had perfect conditions, a wonderful hotel and fantastic training facilities. The matches against Sweden and Norway were against opponents who aren’t exactly a long way down the world rankings.
“After not seeing each other for five months, we found our game relatively quickly and are keen to reinforce and refine it for the future.” she told FIFA.com.
After a quarter-final exit from last year’s Women’s World Cup, fans were left questioning whether Germany could still be counted as one of the world’s best, but Voss-Tecklenburg believes that her national team are still heading in the right direction.
“We deliberately shook up the personnel before the World Cup, and we also had a new coaching team that only had five months to coordinate with each other before the World Cup. Although that wasn’t easy, we reached the quarter-finals and achieved very satisfactory results before that. We played very good football at times, introduced some talented youngsters and ultimately lost one very tight match 2-1.” she said in an interview with FIFA.com
“I still consider us to be among the world’s best, which means I also think we’re among the best in Europe, Voss-Tecklenburg continued.
“However, I can also see – and I feel pretty proud about this – that international women’s football has come so far. It will become much harder for Germany and other countries to win trophies.”
The national team boss went onto add that although USA may be the exception when it comes to struggling to win trophies, “even they will have to prove whether they can handle radical change in the next few years.”
Talking to the World Football Federation, Voss-Tecklenburg spoke highly of the USWNT and explained that their squad “boasts a vast pool of talented girls who play football but also have great personalities.”
“Their mentality and their understanding of the world is about daring to do things and expressing themselves – and even going out on the pitch and saying: ‘We will win this match'”, she added.
Germany took a relatively inexperienced team to last year’s World Cup, as 15 players made their World Cup tournament debut. Although she took chances with new players, Voss-Tecklenberg explained that it “isn’t realistic” for a “talented youngster [to] replace a player at the end of their career like-for-like”.
Although Germany are “very well placed in youth development”, Voss-Tecklenberg knows how important her experienced players are, such as Alex Popp, Dzsenifer Marozsan, Melanie Leupolz and Sara Dabritz. “[They] are now stepping up and taking on responsibilities they didn’t have to worry about before. We have truly talented players, but they have to grow into their responsibilities carefully,” says the German manager.
During her playing career, the 52-year-old featured in two World Cups, five UEFA Women’s Championships and one Olympic Games tournament, as well as winning the Bundesliga several times.
“I still remember how, as young players, Silvia Neid and I used to think: ‘If we can at least become semi-professional at some point in our lives, how nice would that be?’ Today’s top players are professionals and highly-trained performance athletes. They train six or seven times a week and painstakingly tailor their environment to focus on performance”, she said.
“So much has happened and I have to say, it’s great to be able to witness it and be part of it.”
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