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Six months after the World Cup disaster in Australia, the Olympics were the worst

Six months after the World Cup disaster in Australia, the Olympics were the worst

A win over France – and the German footballers would have punched their Olympic ticket to Paris. But the road to the final four of the Nations League could be a tricky one. First up, a French world-class team awaits in the semi-finals on Friday (9pm/ARD) in Lyon.

Interim national coach and optimist Horst Hrubesch sees opportunities in “50:50”. The 72-year-old said Thursday that he always remains positive anyway. “But I think so are women. We believe in our potential. I'm sure we'll use them too.

What is the starting point?

With a win over France, the 2022 European co-champions will be at the Summer Games. With the French automatically qualified as Olympic hosts, Hrubesch's side will have a second chance in the Nations League's last-four third-place match if they lose: either in Seville or Heerenveen next Wednesday. The match between them will be Spain as world champions and Netherlands as opponents. But Hrubesch certainly wants to make things clear against France.

How are the staff?

During the preparation at the DFB complex, Hrubesch had all 23 nominated players with him. European Championship and World Cup participants Lena Magul, Felicidas Rauch and Nicole Anyomi are by invitation only. The new squad includes Wolfsburg striker Vivian Endemann (22). Hrubesch apparently plans on with the dual lead of Leah Schuller/Alexandra Popp. In the defensive axis will be goalkeeper Merle Fromms, with Marina Hejering and Kathryn Hendrich and Lena Oberdorf in central defense – all from VfL Wolfsburg. It was a home game for Olympique Lyonnais midfielder Sarah Tabritz.

What is the format?

Finally the tide is over. Under Hrubesch, the DFB selection qualified for the final four after the World Cup in Australia with a win over Denmark and a draw against Wales. Especially when attacking, Bob and Co. often lack ideas. Hrubesch demands physicality and speed from the outside.

How strong is France?

Coach Herve Renard's team has never won an international title in its history, but has strong players from Olympique Lyonnais and Paris Saint-Germain in its ranks. It is currently third in the FIFA rankings behind Spain and the United States. Missing is world-class defender Wendy Renard, who was injured against Germany. The DFB Women have had good experience against their neighbors recently, including a semi-final win at the European Championship in England in 2022.

What is the history of the Olympics?

In Rio in 2016, German footballers won gold with national coach Silvia Niet – Hrubesch, then in charge of the DFB men, lost to Brazil in the final. The 72-year-old definitely wants to experience the Olympics again. This is the only reason she allowed herself to be forced to temporarily take the women's exam for the second time after 2018. The national team missed the Summer Games in Tokyo.

What happens after Olympic qualification?

The DFB Women will qualify for the 2025 European Championships in Switzerland in April. It is not clear how the association will use the time during the Games in Paris (from July 26 to August 11) if participation in the Olympics does not work out. New sporting director Nia Kunzer still wants to talk to clubs.

How does Hrubesch change?

It is clear that the HSV idol will stop after the summer games – if he has his choice. If he misses the Olympics, he's willing to help out for a short “transitional period” but is looking at other demands during the upcoming surge. Künzer did not want to provide any information about the DFB's timetable. “When the time comes, we will comment on that,” said the 44-year-old 2003 world champion. “The sights are clear and we are ready for everything.” If things don't work out at the Olympics, the DFB will need to quickly organize Hrubesch's successor. The tenure ended, and it was already a hanging game that the players didn't accept.