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    HomeSportsEx-DFB star takes a detour via trainer oasis

    Ex-DFB star takes a detour via trainer oasis

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    Kim Kulig in Switzerland
    Ex-DFB star takes a detour via trainer oasis

    Kim Kulig's active career ends suddenly and painfully. The former German national soccer player has not given up the sport, but continues – and successfully in another country.

    Kim Kulig now knows that in Switzerland footballers change in the dressing room and not in the dressing room. And you don't shout “Let's go, girls!”, but: “Let's go, women!” The former German national player and 2009 European champion has been working successfully at FC Basel since last summer – and is one of the few female coaches in top football. The former assistant at VfL Wolfsburg continues to keep an eye on the DFB and the women's Bundesliga.

    “If she and her team continue as brilliantly as they did in the first half of the year, then at some point the calm will be over,” says FC Basel in the cover story of the latest club magazine about Kim Kulig. The 33-year-old is involved in the title fight with the red-blue team, and her move to Basel was a well-considered one: “For me, it was a logical step. I was the head coach of the U20 in Frankfurt at the time,” says Kulig.

    Trainers like to go to Switzerland

    While jobs for female coaches in Germany are still few and far between – only Theresa Merk from SC Freiburg is the head coach in the Bundesliga – Switzerland is considered an alternative: Martina Voss-Tecklenburg was national coach there before she became national coach. Former German international striker Inka Grings held this position in the neighboring country until November.

    “I just went for it after my career and later became an assistant coach in a top team in Wolfsburg with great conditions,” says Kulig about her career: “I see myself as a head coach because I need my own freedom to think out of the box.”

    Switzerland fits in quite well. “You can use the league as a springboard,” explains Jacqueline Dünker. The former Leverkusen player won the title with the FC Zurich players in 2023. And then there is Imke Wübbenhorst as a coach at Young Boys Bern: The now 35-year-old once made headlines when she took over the men's fourth division club Sportfreunde Lotte.

    She obtained her football coaching license with Miroslav Klose

    “I always think carefully about what steps will be good for me next and where I can develop further,” says Kulig. The native of Herrenberg and supporter of VfB Stuttgart worked for the DFB as a scout during the term of national coach Steffi Jones. Kulig, who once obtained her football teaching license with 2014 world champion Miroslav Klose, recently attended the women's Bundesliga trainers' conference as a matter of course.

    Can she imagine returning to the DFB – especially since the coaching team around Horst Hrubesch, who wants to quit in the event of Olympic qualification in Paris, is being reorganized? “I think working for an association is completely different,” she says, but also says: “It's 'our' DFB somewhere. I still know a lot of the employees, I see the new academy quite often from the outside because I'm still rooted in Frankfurt.”

    Every trainer might have the idea of ​​doing something different. “At the moment I'm really happy that I can work for a team every day and see the girls every day. But of course: never say never!”

    Her playing career ended abruptly

    Kulig was also U20 World Champion in 2010, as was Marie-Louisa Eta, who is now assistant coach for the men's team at Union Berlin – the only one in German professional football. “Of course I would like to see situations like the one with Marie-Louisa Eta happen more often,” says Kulig. “I keep saying that we work in mixed coaching teams. I also have assistant coaches at my side, that's important to me. Why shouldn't it work the other way around?”

    Kulig's career as a player ended abruptly. A torn cruciate ligament suffered at the 2011 World Cup in Germany resulted in several operations for the then high-flyer. And cartilage damage. At just 25 years old, Kulig was a sports invalid. When a ball is nearby, the 33-time international player likes to kick it – but she should only do so in a controlled manner. Her knee swells too quickly.

    “It still haunts me sometimes that I had to stop so early. Because I'm still at an age where many of my colleagues are still playing,” she says. “I haven't accepted it for a long time. But I've learned to deal with it. Now I'm just happy and grateful that I can be a coach.” Her contract with FC Basel runs until 2025 – that year the European Championships will also take place in Switzerland.

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