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    In times of crisis, the DFB is relying entirely on “waking up” women

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    World Cup games to start the day
    In times of crisis, the DFB is relying entirely on “waking up” women

    The men’s national soccer team is in deep crisis, the U21 juniors are failing badly at the European Championships as defending champions. Now the DFB’s hope lies entirely in the women. Coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s team is supposed to cheer up the mood.

    After the U21 European Championship debacle, Joti Chatzialexiou traveled unexpectedly early to the German footballers’ World Cup training camp. During her first appearance there, the DFB official was immediately confronted with the unpleasant topic. Do Alexandra Popp and Co. now have to act as identification figures to save the reputation of German football?

    “Of course I would also be happy if our women could kiss the German football fans awake again this summer,” said the sporting director of the national teams in Herzogenaurach. Such a “wake-up kiss” also fits in well with the early World Cup kick-off times for the finals in Australia and New Zealand (July 20th to August 20th). “You can start the day with some great games.” The first group game is on July 24th (10.30 a.m. CEST/ZDF and in the ntv.de live ticker) in Melbourne against Morocco before taking on Colombia and South Korea.

    Chatzialexiou actually categorically rejects cross-comparisons between his national teams, but he cannot avoid them in his role. After the disaster in Qatar and the recent debacle in Georgia, he was “glad that we as an association have the opportunity to win over football fans with the tournament. In my job it is obvious that I would like all of our Teams are successful.”

    The players are ambivalent about the ongoing and sometimes provocative questions about the vacuum in German football. Captain Popp dismissed such a move as “stupid” at the start of the World Cup preparations. “I think it’s a shame that the men have to screw up somehow so that we can get people to our side. I think it would be cool if the fans were simply fans for Germany,” said striker Lea Schüller from champions Bayern Munich, but: “I I hope that we can help German football move up a notch with the World Cup.”

    One more test, then sorting out

    This was finally achieved last summer during the European Championships flight up to the dream final against the English at Wembley. According to Chatzialexiou, the vice-European champions are also approaching the finals in Australia and New Zealand with ambitious goals. “Of course, when we go into a tournament we want to play for the title,” he explained, but in view of the ever-increasing competition he emphasized: “I am going into this World Cup very humbled because I see how things are developing “The European Championships were sensational, and the World Cup will certainly top that.”

    His impressions from the “Homeground” make him “very confident”, the atmosphere is “very positive”, the training sessions are “intensive” and the conditions in Franconia are “sensational once again”. It is important to take the “flow and spirit” from last year with us, especially since the core of the European Championship team has stayed together with a few absences.

    In the dress rehearsal on Friday (8.30 p.m./ARD and in the ntv.de live ticker) Against Zambia in Fürth, national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s team will have to “really stretch” again, said Chatzialexiou, who expects a “really good test” in the duel with the World Cup newcomer.

    The final World Cup squad will be named on Saturday; Paulina Krumbiegel from TSG Hoffenheim will not be among the 23 nominees. “She was actually a shaky candidate and also had muscular problems during the days,” explained Chatzialexiou after Krumbiegel’s departure. Four outfield players and a goalkeeper are eliminated before the “wake-up kissing” mission begins.

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