Just a few weeks ago, the US national team led by superstar Megan Rapinoe had a historic success. After years of wage wrangling, women are getting the same wages as men. American women made the best arguments with four world titles, which men can only dream of.
Zadrazil himself was playing in college in the USA and knows very well the importance of sports for girls and women. “In the United States, soccer is basically a women’s sport. Every little girl plays soccer, that’s normal. Men mainly play other sports like soccer, basketball or baseball. From this point of view, women’s soccer is very important. Of course it would be great if that were the case in Europe, but we are on the right track that women’s football is expanding here too.”
“Women’s football hasn’t reached that far yet”
But it is still different, and Zadrazil is trying to classify it accordingly. “Megan Rapinoe & Co are role models in the United States and championing what is important to them. It is impressive what they have achieved. But I take a somewhat more critical view of the issue in Europe. I don’t think we can claim the same thing as men, women’s football simply Not far”, confirms the 90-time ÖFB player, who was part of the EM team in the semi-finals in 2017.
In Europe, interest in men’s football is much higher, as evidenced by the number of viewers, television contracts and promotion. “I can’t ask for the same thing as Joshua Kimmish,” Zadrazil emphasized. “But what you can do is adapt the structures, for example where to play. If you take the next step there, it will be very useful for us. Or move the games: that is, you can simply watch the games if you are interested in them. These are the next steps that will be important to give us Better platform.
Bayern women play at Allianz Arena for the first time
The next step will soon be taken in Munich, where women will be able to play at the Allianz Arena for the first time on March 22 in the quarter-final first leg against Paris Saint-Germain. “It is one of the biggest stages in Germany and it also shows the appreciation of the club. It is also suitable for a Champions League match against PSG. I am really looking forward to it, it will be a great experience.”
Zadrazil moved from Turbine Potsdam to Munich in 2020, who became German champions in 2021. In the pre-season in the Champions League, they only lost to Chelsea in the semi-finals. “Anyway, it was the right move for me, as well as for my development. We find really great conditions for women’s football. And we have almost exclusively national players in the team.” So a league, cup and Champions League hat-trick this year is still possible. Compared to the English Premier League, there is still room for improvement in terms of marketing and broadcasting.
The trained kindergarten teacher, who is also currently completing her second BA course and certificate, has a contract in Munich until 2023 and can imagine staying there. “There are not many clubs that beat Bayern Munich. Being close to my family is also important to me. But never say never, other leagues are developing as well. However, I feel very comfortable here,” stressed Zadrazil, who has secured The title of first domestic footballer of the year in 2018.
Red Bull player wants Salzburg women’s team
The soccer player, very close to her home country, is also running her fingers with the Salzburg men on Tuesday, even though they meet their teammates from Munich in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16. “Bayern are obviously the favorites, but Salzburg did a great job in the first leg and a lot is possible in football. If they can press hard again and put pressure on Bayern Munich, then something can happen. I hope for a surprise.”
Zadrazil is the first female footballer to have the support of Red Bull, but this does not prevent her from conveying a wish to the champions of the domestic series, that Salzburg also opened a women’s division. “I think it will be the next important step for women’s football in Austria. I also believe that the potential has been recognized and I hope steps will be taken soon. This will of course be a security thought on my part, so that Austrian women’s football continues to be helped.”
Good start to the year of EM with the national team
Zadrazil, which debuted in 2010, is an integral part of the national team. Recently, she and her companions successfully attended a training camp in Marbella, where Romania (6-0) and Switzerland (3-0) were clearly defeated. “The match against Switzerland was meaningful because they are ahead of us in the world rankings, but they also had some setbacks. Despite everything, we presented ourselves superbly and rarely did we control such a team before.”
It was the starting signal for a special year in which she is fighting for her first participation in the World Cup qualifiers. There is a major game against Northern Ireland on April 8 (8:20pm, live on ORF Sport+) at Wiener Neustadt. “We have to do our jobs and win. The first leg (2-2) was unfortunate, but we are better and we have to show it,” stressed Zadrazil, who hopes her team will qualify for the play-offs second behind England and then jump into the World Cup train creates.
Hope for the World Cup and great anticipation for England
However, there is still a long way to go, the playoffs are multi-stage and only 12 teams from Europe will participate in the final 32-nation edition in Australia and New Zealand 2023. The ÖFB women will compete with the confederations for the second time this year in the England Finals, of course the show will not be forgotten The first to finish in a sensational semi-final five years ago in the Netherlands.
“It was a fairy tale. There is a lot in football, everything comes close.” says Zadrazil, who, with her teammates under team boss Eren Foreman, wants to improve in the final third, among other things, not least because she wants to show in the sixth of July … Because then you meet England in front of 75,000 spectators at Manchester’s legendary Old Trafford.” Nothing better could have happened for us, the opening match is a big dream. Most of them probably won’t experience it again, I’m really looking forward to it.”
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