Women's U19 European Championship
like the world champions - sports
The German U19 national team of women shows at the Junior European Championships in Scotland virtues that lacked the A-Eleven at the World Cup - and is in the final against France. But her trainer Maren Meinert has to go after that.
The delegation, which opens for Glasgow at the weekend, is quite prominent: Rainer Koch and Reinhard Rauball, who are currently leading the German Football Association (DFB) again, Vice President Hannelore Ratzeburg and Britta Carlson, the assistant coach of the women's national team. They are there when the German U19 junior women on Sunday (17 clock / live on Sport1) contest the European Championship final against France. Performance reviews of this kind require the presence of the highest-ranking officials.
The German offspring has presented in Scotland so far very sovereign. The kick-off against England (2-1) was followed by a victory over Belgium (5-0), against defending champions Spain managed a 0-0. "After all, we had fulfilled our first mission after the second group match, when we qualified for the U20 World Cup, and now we have a second mission: to win the title," said national coach Maren Meinert.
"Our will and our passion have finally paid off," said Marie Müller, 19, after the 3-1 in the semifinals against the Netherlands. She scored the deciding 2-1 with a penalty. The defensive midfielder from SC Freiburg is just as good a performer as Melissa Kössler from Turbine Potsdam. The team from the 2000 and 2001er years stands less for playful highlights, but rather for militant dedication, good organization and a strong defense. Exactly those virtues formerly typical of Germany, which the A-national team missed at the quarter-finals at the World Cup in France.
Trainer Meinert, 92 times national player, knows that the cross-reference is a bit tricky for her. What she can say: "Anyone who has turned on the TV in our games for the last 14 years has always been able to see a team that is motivated to their hair tips - that's the only way football works for me." Provided, of course, the games of the junior women were televised.
The mentality of the USA? "That's a little bit off, because we are always very friendly with each other"
For Meinert, 46, the European Championship final will be the farewell performance of the DFB. Five months ago, Sports Director Joti Chatzialexiou told her that her contract would not be renewed. The junior area in women's football is being restructured: Ulrike Ballweg has to hand over the U17, Meinert the U19, to take over Friederike Kromp and Kathrin Peter. "I was very surprised," says Meinert, who is grateful that she was allowed to start as a young coach in 2005 at the association, but can not understand that the DFB after 14 years "wonderful years" does not want to continue to employ. "Of course, I was not happy about the decision and personally think it's wrong."
The junior sector brings so many talents that one could come up with the idea that for the senior team actually much more should be possible than to say goodbye at the Women's European Championship 2017 and Women's World Cup 2019 each already in the quarterfinals. "We won the Nordic Cup in Sweden with the U16, we became European champions with the U17 and we finished in the U19 and last year we were in the European Championship final with the U17 and the U19. At the age of 19 Giulia Gwinn became the best junior player in the world and with Klara Bühl and Lena Oberdorf two players were regularly used at the World Cup, which could have played in my U19 you do not talk about crisis - that's almost cheeky, "says Meinert. With her, the U20 is twice World Champion (2010 and 2014), the U19 has become three times European champion (2006, 2007, 2011).
In the spring of 2018, Meinert was even asked if she would be able to take over as national coach when the senior national team got under way under Steffi Jones. She did not want. "I thought that well, but decided that this was not the right job." On Sunday she can now show for the last time what is important to win titles. "So far, we have always managed to have the players for the time of a tournament, the football as a food spot," says Meinert.
In 2001 she moved to America as one of the first German national team, was elected in 2003 the most valuable player in the league. National coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg has just pointed out that the USA has won the World Cup mainly because of its outstanding mentality. Meinert can only confirm the thesis. And she says, "That's a bit off, because we're always very friendly with each other, and the young players in particular are even more considerate: no one wants to hurt the other today."
Meinert is not a trainer that spares young players. "I think the first half of the U19 is a tough one for me, and I also see my job as telling players what's wrong - helping them," she says. In the future she probably does that abroad.