Former national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg spoke for the first time about her psychological problems after the German footballers’ exit from the World Cup and also admitted mistakes.
A feeling of pressure on the chest, panic attacks and insomnia were the result, said the 55-year-old in a ZDF interview published on Monday (November 20, 2023), in response to internal and public criticism: “I basically collapsed completely.”
The fears, insecurity and emptiness in her head became increasingly stronger – almost as if the plug had been pulled from me. The German Football Association announced at the beginning of September that Voss-Tecklenburg was ill.
Criticism of lectures
After a long stalemate, the DFB appointed Horst Hrubesch as interim coach for the German women, who had failed in the preliminary round of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The DFB terminated the contract with Voss-Tecklenburg, which runs until 2025, at the beginning of the month.
Voss-Tecklenburg had also recently attracted criticism because she gave two lectures even though she had not yet been reported as healthy again by the DFB at the time. “I then made the public appearances. In retrospect you can say: How stupid – mistake,” said Voss-Tecklenburg now.
She took a vacation and the rest of the year’s vacation “in order to get completely healthy, to simply use these weeks again, to come back and to be able to take part in life again.” A joint press release was not made at the time for various reasons.
“I was sick and I didn’t know how long this process would take. I realized that I just have to be there for myself now,” said Voss-Tecklenburg in the interview about the time before. She noticed: “My head is empty. I’m just crying. I’m not able to think constructively.” Her doctor’s advice was clear: to withdraw first in order to minimize the risk of depressive episodes.