After a one-sided match on Tuesday night, Schulte sat like a miserable pile on the bench at Lokomotiv Stadium in Plovdiv next to goalkeeper coach Michael Fox. The guard continued to wipe her face with a towel and not just the sweat from her forehead. Tears rolled down the cheeks of the VFL Wolfsburg goalkeeper.
Almost unemployed upon return
After a match in which the Olympic champion was out of work except for a long-range shot made by Dmitra Ivanova, which she easily saved (43rd place), the past three years have passed before her inner eye. After the birth of her twins in April 2020 and the ensuing baby break, the 31-year-old fought her way back to the field, but was repeatedly slowed down by injuries. While she managed to return to the goal as the first place for “Wolves”, Merle Froomes outperformed her in the goal of the German Federation.
A circumstance that the very ambitious goalkeeper calmly handled, because she is an impeccable athlete and a team player. But how eager she was to return among the German publications now appeared after the match in a concrete bowl filled with only 200 spectators to Plovdiv.
Schulte: “I had to open a lot of doors”
“I am so grateful that my family made it possible for me. That has always been my goal. Probably no one can imagine what it feels like to not fight again in competitive sports. I had to open so many doors,” Schulte said in an ARD interview in a shaky voice and shedding a lot of Tears.
The goalkeeper, who hails from Dannenberg (Elbe) in Lower Saxony, has made no secret of how upset she is by losing her usual spot on the German side.
“The situation is worse as a goalkeeper. You can’t even get in for 14 minutes. When you lose your place it’s not easy to get it back. It was a tough time for a big part, even though it was at club level and I’m enjoying football,” Schulte said.
In an unusual supporting role in the European Championships in England
After winning the double, the goalkeeper bid farewell to Angel City in the USA after nine years at Wolfsburg. But before it moved to its Four Walls in Los Angeles, the European Championships in England was still on the agenda. Continental title confrontations turned into a raucous football fest with a drunken German side only stopped by the hosts in the final.
But Schulte never played a moment on the island – and thus was only a supporting role. Bitter for the 2013 European Champion and 2016 Olympic Champion, who played 64 matches for the national team before her baby break.
Schulte is proud to be the mother of twins
Now, 1,165 days after their last DFB selection appointment, a comeback has followed. For Schulte himself, it was not only of great personal value. “I don’t know the stats. But I think I am the first mother of twins to play for the national team. There have not been many mothers who have actively played for the national team in the past 20 years anyway. I hope there will be more in the decades to come,” said the 31-year-old. general.
Family reunion in the United States imminent
She is undoubtedly a role model for other female footballers who want to combine family and professional practice for their sport in the future. Schulte has managed to strike that balance — so far. It remains to be seen if this will also be the case in the future. Because her husband and twins are now coming to the United States.
“It would be very different in the big world without the support of the big family, without which this would not have been possible for the past three years,” Schulte said, “Now we are as a family on our own.”
The World Cup in Australia and New Zealand as a longing target
For the longtime Wolfsburg native, the new phase of life in faraway California is just beginning to be a family reunion. Her husband and children will give Schulte support and strength, which she can also use in sports. So far, the 31-year-old has not played for Angel City Football Club in the Women’s National Football League.
If the goalkeeper cannot change her current position, her participation in next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand could be in jeopardy.
“First of all, I have to manage in the States to play matches and stay healthy. Everything around that has to be fit,” Schulte said. So she will have to keep fighting to realize her dreams. But she has enough experience with it…
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