For many a Wolfsburg resident there is a reunion with Pernille Harder in the first game of the European Football Championship. “Germany’s footballer of the year 2020” calls for the DFB women with Denmark.

In their first group game of the European Championship in England, the German soccer players can play against Denmark with their best squad.

“All 23 players who are in the squad are operational. So we don’t have any problems,” said national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg before the game of the record European champions against the 2017 European Championship runners-up on Friday (9 p.m. CEST/ZDF and DAZN) at the Brentford Community Stadium in west London.

Playmaker Sara Däbritz, who is moving from Paris Saint-Germain to Champions League winners OlympIque Lyon this summer, has recovered from her slight muscular ailments and has recently been training fully with the team again. Captain Alexandra Popp from VfL Wolfsburg has apparently also overcome her training deficit after a corona disease. However, Bundesliga top scorer Lea Schüller from FC Bayern is the number 1 candidate for the top striker.

Anticipation is great

After three training camps and the final preparations on site since last Sunday, the players are impatiently looking forward to the first challenge at the 13th European Championship. “We are full of anticipation, it must finally start now. Now it’s time!” said Voss-Tecklenburg.

Everyone in the team is aware that the game will be “a big task”, according to the national coach. Germany is back in a major tournament for the first time since the 2019 World Cup quarter-finals against Sweden – and is not one of the top favorites like, for example, the second preliminary round opponent Spain on July 12th.

«50:50 game»

Denmark’s coach Lars Søndergaard also has everyone on board. He expressed himself in a similar way to his German colleague: “We have been preparing for a long time. We are nervous, excited and looking forward to finally getting started.” He has the feeling that it will be “a 50:50 game”. The German team failed at the EM 2017 – at that time still under coach Steffi Jones – in the quarterfinals against Denmark.

The DFB women know Denmark’s captain and star Pernille Harder only too well. The 29-year-old offensive player was voted “Europe’s Soccer Player of the Year” in 2018 and 2020, and in 2020 was also the first foreign player to be voted “Germany’s Soccer Player of the Year”. She played for VfL Wolfsburg for three years from 2017 before moving to Chelsea. “It will be a pleasure to meet my former teammates from Wolfsburg. It was a good time for me, »said Harder.