Winning the opening game with the German women’s U20 team 1-0 against Nigeria, then being awarded the FIFA player of the match award; it was a successful day’s work for U20 German international Giulia Gwinn of SC Freiburg. In an interview with DFB.de, the 19-year-old midfielder speaks about the accolade, as well as the preparation for the upcoming game against China and a welcome change.
DFB.de: Giulia Gwinn, after taking part in the 2016 U17 World Cup in Jordan, you are now already competing in a World Cup for a second time here in France. Is going to a World Cup still something special for you?
Giulia Gwinn: Definitely! Taking part in a World Cup is a highlight for every player. Playing in such tournaments is always more special than just playing in a friendly or qualifier. Here in France, we can compete with the best U20 teams in the world, which we all look forward to. We’ve been looking forward to the World Cup for more than a year, with nervous anticipation. It’s nice that it’s finally underway.
DFB.de: You were awarded player of the match against Nigeria. Were you pleased with that?
Gwinn: Yes, very much. It’s a great honour. But it’s more important that we won against Nigeria and started the World Cup with three points.
DFB.de: How did the game go in your opinion?
Gwinn: We played well. In the match we were able to implement a lot of what we had planned tactically. In defence we stayed very firm and tackled well. Of course we know that we can still improve some things. Up front in particular we have to play more calmly when we have the ball and keep a lid on the game. We have to be more intelligent and logical with our chances.
DFB.de: How is the team preparing for the game against China?
Gwinn: Our team was split into two different training groups today. One focussed on regenerating players’ energy, while the other group featured match-scenario training for the players who didn’t play against Nigeria. On Wednesday we’ll then all come together again for training. We’ll be shown the key moments from the game against Nigeria once more, so we can learn from them to help prepare us for the China match. The Chinese have quite a few agile players, especially centrally. They’re strong in their play and firm in their formation as well. It will therefore be crucial to stay alert from the very beginning of the match, and to carry that on throughout the whole game.
DFB.de: What will you be doing after the training/regeneration session today?
Gwinn: We’re going to visit St. Malo to have a look at the little town. Such trips do the whole team good, because they give us the chance to clear our heads.