During the German national team game on Friday against the Netherlands, Klara Bühl from SC Freiburg will be awarded with the gold Fritz Walter Medal for the category of best young German women’s footballer. The 18-year-old tells DFB.de: just how much it means to her to receive this award.
DFB.de: Frau Bühl, how significant is it for you personally to win the gold Fritz Walter Medal?
Klara Bühl: For a young player like myself, it’s one of the most prestigious awards I could win. I cannot wait and I’m really proud. There have been lots of great players before me who have won this award.
DFB.de: For example in the current national team, there’s Melanie Leupolz, Sara Däbritz, Johanna Elsig, Pauline Bremer and Svenja Huth.
Bühl: It’s an honour for me to follow in their footsteps. But, at the same time, it’s also my duty to work even harder so that I can continue my development. I have given everything so far in my career and it’s a great feeling for that to be rewarded. I am delighted to accept this award. However, I won’t just put my feet up and relax. For me, the journey all the way to the top has only just begun and I’m aware that it won’t be easy. There are also players who have won the Fritz Walter Medal in the past but ultimately failed to make it. It’s important not to take it for granted.
DFB.de: Do you feel pressured now to take on more responsibility, and to take the next step in your development?
Bühl: I demand that of myself. As a national first team player, of course it’s important for me to take on more responsibility. I have been at Freiburg for a while now, and I know how everything works. I try to help the team as much as I can, but I don’t want to put myself under unnecessary stress. I also don’t feel that anyone expects anything differently of me now.
DFB.de: Do you also see it as a reward for the six years you’ve spent at Freiburg?
Bühl: I see it more as an award for the club, who put such a strong emphasis on the importance of youth players, and have made it possible for young players like myself to be given a chance to play in the Bundesliga. They believe in us here, and we are always given enough game time. I believe that SC Freiburg play a leading role in shaping the German national team. We have fantastic coaches and great facilities to enable our development. It’s a great story for me personally to win the gold Fritz Walter Medal, but in reality lots of different people have earned it, and I am very grateful for their support.
DFB.de: How did you first hear that you had won the award?
Bühl: I was at training with SC Freiburg in Schrunz. We were on the way home and I received an email saying that I was one of the winners. I couldn’t believe it at first.
DFB.de: Your journey has been quite straight-forward. You’ve risen through the ranks of the national youth teams, and eventually travelled with the first team to France for the World Cup this summer.
Bühl: That’s another thing that I certainly can’t take for granted; it has been my dream ever since I was young. I have always really enjoyed playing for the youth teams but playing in a World Cup has topped everything off.