She couldn’t play for nearly five years due to a persistent foot injury, but Marina Hegering finally made her international debut in the 2-1 win against Sweden in Solna. DFB.de spoke to the SGS Essen defender about her impressions and the home game against Japan on Tuesday (16:00 CEST).
DFB.de: When did you find out that you’d be starting the game against Sweden?
Marina Hegering: The coach told me in the second-to-last training session that I’d be starting.
DFB.de: Did you think that you would?
Hegering: Martina Voss-Tecklenburg had already told me in Munich that she wanted to see me playing internationally, but I didn’t know what game I’d get the chance in. It’s great to get my first international game here in Sweden with this atmosphere and a win. A great experience!
DFB.de: Did you think that you’d play for Germany after being out for so long with your injury?
Hegering: No, not at all. For me, the goal was to be able to play in the Bundesliga again, because it wasn’t clear for a long time that I’d be able to get back on the pitch. It’s awesome that that’s happened now – it’s indescribable.
DFB.de: Were you tense, knowing that you’d start the game a few days before?
Hegering: Yes, I was very nervous, especially in the morning. But that went away pretty quickly luckily. As soon as you’re warming up on the pitch, you put all that to one side and you’re focused on the game.
DFB.de: Who did you speak to first, straight after the game?
Hegering: My mum. (laughs) I knew that everyone was watching the game at home on the big TV. Normally my mum only gets the football decorations out of the cupboard for the World Cup, but she decorated the living room and invited some friends and friendly round. My parents are usually even more excited than me, so it was nice to talk to them straight after the game.
DFB.de: What are your impressions of the young Germany side?
Hegering: What makes this team so incredibly valuable is that we have a lot of players who are very flexible and who can play in a lot of positions. Even in regards to the World Cup, that’s an advantage. We can be surprising and unpredictable there. It’s also a good mix. There are a lot of young players, but players like Melanie Leupolz bring the right experience onto the pitch.
DFB.de: You play Japan on Tuesday. How do you rate your upcoming opponents?
Hegering: Japan play quite differently. They have a lot of quick and flexible players, they play a lot of short passes and don’t sit deep. We’ll have to prepare ourselves fully again for the game. I’m sure that the coaching team will prepare us well.###more###