How it works when the harmony is right in an ensemble, that’s what the German footballers admired during a tour of the Semperoper in Dresden. You could watch the musicians and dancers warm up and learn what is important behind the scenes. The object lesson came in handy, because this Friday the DFB-Elf will enter a larger stage in the friendly match against France (8.30 p.m. / ARD) in the Elbe metropolis.
Germany vs France? There was something! It is the repeat of the European Championship semi-final from the summer, which the DFB team won 2-1 in Milton Keynes. Since then, interest in the German women has clearly increased, and 24,500 tickets have already been sold for the game in Dresden – there are only standing room tickets left.
The live transmission at prime time on Friday evening should once again lure an audience of millions in front of the machines. This fulfills central demands that the players and national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg had made more often. The only unfavorable thing is that four prominent players are missing for this test: Marina Hegering (foot injury), Sara Däbritz (ankle), Lina Magull (corona infection) – and Giulia Gwinn, who left at short notice on Wednesday because of a knee injury.
Giulia Gwinn is seriously injured and falls out
On the other hand, female footballers who would have liked to play more often in the tournament in England – such as Linda Dallmann, currently the top scorer in the Bundesliga, are now allowed to prove themselves. The 28-year-old came on five times as a substitute at the European Championships, the midfielder from FC Bayern replaced her team-mate Magull four times and Däbritz once. When Dallmann was in the starting eleven in the sportingly meaningless group game against Finland (3-0), the technician promptly accepted the award for player of the match.
Now she gets her chance and says: “Of course I would like to work my way into my regular place here, even if the two (Magull and Däbritz; editor’s note) would be fit. That’s my claim.” Three years after moving from her training club SGS Essen to Munich, Dallmann finds that acceptance and recognition for her sport have changed enormously: “The EM triggered a lot. Especially among people who didn’t usually follow women’s football.” Several people in their environment “said that the EM was the football highlight of the year for them. We’ve never been able to stir up such euphoria before. That’s the greatest appreciation for us,” says Dallmann.
The 53-time national player has largely refrained from vacation after the beguiling tournament. Instead of hanging out at home in Dinslaken, she preferred to go to her apartment in Munich to see the new coach Alexander Straus on the FC Bayern campus. “I’ve actually always been in the mood for football, which is why I wanted to train again as soon as possible. That’s why I got back into it relatively quickly.”
It is probably no coincidence that she scored twice in the second leg of the Champions League qualifier against Real Sociedad (3-1) and in the Bundesliga game at MSV Duisburg (4-0). “I haven’t just felt physically good for a week or two, but since the European Championships. The only difference is that I’m now scoring goals,” says Dallmann. The 1.58 meter tall offensive player acquired much of her extensive repertoire in her family environment – assertiveness included.
Anyone who grows up with four brothers and two sisters has to intervene, the family becomes a school for sports – and vice versa. For the DFB women, Dallmann is considered a tidy team player whose finesse on the ball is appreciated by everyone. “Linda is an exceptional footballer with a special technique,” says defender Kathrin Hendrich, who also praises Dallmann’s unpredictability.
DFB colleague Lena Oberdorf calls Dallmann a “free spirit – we have to clean up around her so that she can play to her goalscoring potential.” Because at the test in Dresden it is not necessarily to be expected that captain Alexandra Popp will again decide the duel alone against the strong French team. The top scorer had her last big moment in the semifinals of the European Championship with two goals – and then fell out injured in the final. In the meantime, however, harmony has also returned to Popp.