On Saturday, the Germany Women’s national team will meet England at a sold-out Wembley Stadium. National team player Melanie Leupolz spoke in an interview with DFB.de about her experiences in Wembley and the England team.
DFB.de: Ms Leupolz, in November 2014 you started in a 3-0 win over England at Wembley Stadium. At the time it was played in front of a record 45,619 spectators. Do you remember that?
Melanie Leupolz: That was really impressive! Up to that point it was one of the biggest stadiums I’ve ever played in. Wembley is huge, has a great history and is really fun to play in. Just tomorrow there are around 90,000 spectators expected. That will certainly be a highlight and it will be the perfect end of the year for us.
DFB.de: 90,000 spectators – what is going through your head when you think of that amount of people?
Leupolz: I think it shows how many people appreciate us and women’s football. In addition, the European Championship will take place in England in 2021 and the final of the Men’s European Championship will take place at the stadium. The game is a great advertisement for the country and the two tournaments. I am very happy that so many spectators want to see us play.
DFB.de: It’s possible that there will be more nerves tomorrow, right?
Leupolz: I hope that we can kind of temper the excitement as a team. The spectators will give great support to us and the stage shouldn’t stop us from playing our game. I remember the final at the 2016 Olympics in the Maracana. Although there will be a lot of people in the stadium, I tend to block that from my mind once the game is going. But before kick-off, when you step out onto the pitch and the national anthems are played, you absolutely get gossebumps. You don’t forget those moments in a hurry.
DFB.de: What are you expecting from the England team? What kind of game will it be?
Leupolz: The English girls haven’t had the best results lately, so I think they will be desperate to win in their stadium, in front of their own fans. Their squatted is full of top talent, players that are at huge European clubs. I am expecting a mentally strong side and an exciting, physical game.
DFB.de: What sort of impression have you got from your team in recent days?
Leupolz: I think we have developed positively in all areas since the World Cup. We are still getting to know each other since we have only been together as a group since January. We’ve had a lot of good discussions about what is expected of us and what the coaching team wants from us. I am excited for the future.