The DFB women celebrated the semi-finals exuberantly and with thoughts of “Us Uwe”. Whether France or the Netherlands – the journey should only end in Wembley.
In the party booth, the German soccer players danced to “Cotton Eye Joe”, and Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s fairytale triumph in the semi-finals of the European Championship receded into the background for a moment. When asked about Uwe Seeler, the national coach fought back tears.
“We talked a lot about Uwe because he always wrote and we knew he wanted to watch the games,” said the 54-year-old after the 2-0 (1-0) shaky win in the quarter-finals against Austria. She dedicated the success in Brentford to this big fan, this “fantastic” footballer and person – on “a special day, with sad news, but also with the knowledge that maybe we were able to give him a bit of joy.”
Wembley, where Seeler once trotted off after losing the 1966 World Cup final, is finally just a step away for Voss-Tecklenburg’s selection. The European Championship trophy will be awarded there on July 31st.
Alexandra Popp: “Now we’re in the semifinals”
“Of course our goal now is to get into the final,” affirmed Klara Bühl, who was named player of the match despite a major miss. The showdown for the final takes place on Wednesday in Milton Keynes against France or the defending champions, the Netherlands (Saturday, 9:00 p.m.).
The eight-time European champion has fulfilled the requirement of DFB managing director Oliver Bierhoff that Germany should always finish in the top four at major tournaments. The pressure is gone, the satisfaction is all the greater.
“We started the tournament and everyone thought we wouldn’t win anything,” said Alexandra Popp: “Now we’re in the semi-finals, the team has incredibly deserved it.” With her fourth goal in the fourth European Championship game, the captain (90th) played a big part in it – and even set a European Championship record as a series clipper.
DFB selection sparks EM fever in Germany
Lina Magull (25th) had previously met. Against the neighbors, who were even superior at times, the aluminum had to help three times to keep the zero. “You have to be lucky sometimes,” said Germany goalkeeper Merle Frohms, who after the “dirty win” felt “very excited” at Wembley. “We have a world-class team right now,” enthused the 27-year-old: “We’re just looking at ourselves.”
And the homeland is watching spellbound: 9.5 million people cheered on the ARD broadcast (market share 38.2) and made sure that the ratings for the EURO in England were the best so far.
While Bühl received encouragement after her mistake in front of the empty goal (82nd) (“Birgit Prinz told me you always have one”), the extremely strong Lena Oberdorf was able to look forward to a rare special praise from the national coach. “She made a really, really great game,” enthused “MVT” about her 20-year-old winner.
With “maturity, intensity and defensive spirit” the “great machine” (Magull) gave Oberdorf the anchor in defensive midfield, celebrated themselves for successful duels and thus pushed their teammates who were too timid. “It’s okay”, was her performance, said the Wolfsburg casually.
“Obi” also believes the sworn bunch is capable of a really big hit – no matter who else comes: “With our team structure, we’re on the right track. But we also know that we can’t take a step less.”