The Germany Women’s national team play England at Wembley on Saturday (18:30 CET) on front of 90,000 spectators. 27-year-old international Leonie Maier spoke to DFB.de’s Lisa Brautmeier about the match and the atmosphere that awaits.
DFB.de: Leonie, you are playing in a packed-out Wembley stadium on Saturday. How big is the anticipation of this game?
Leonie Maier: Obviously it is massive. It is a special thing to be able to play in a stadium like that, in front of such a crowd. You can feel the excitement bubbling away in the team.
DFB.de: 90,000 spectators are coming to the game. What kind of atmosphere awaits?
Maier: It is always fun to play in front of a sell-out crowd. And it is well-known that the English are crazy about football. There will be a fantastic atmosphere in the stadium, especially for a match like England against Germany. We won’t forget the match and the atmosphere in a hurry. It heightens the anticipation for the Women’s Euros in 2021, and also the final men’s Euros in 2020, which will be at Wembley.
DFB.de: You normally don’t get the chance to play in front of a crowd this big. Are you maybe a bit nervous?
Maier: When you play in front of so many people, it is obviously something special there is an element of nervousness about it. Especially when you are playing in such a great stadium. It is completely normal to be a bit nervous. But the excitement outweighs the nerves, so we will simply enjoy the match.
DFB.de: What kind of game do you and the rest of the Germany team expect for Saturday?Maier: Presumably the game will be very tight, where neither team will give the other an inch. England will definitely play very physically. We have to put in a really good performance to succeed. But we are well prepared for that.
DFB.de: Will this friendly match against England become a landmark for the team?
Maier: For me, every game is a test. But it’s important to have matches against teams like England, which is one of the best. After some successful games in our European Championship qualification campaign, for this game to come at the end of the year is just the right time. We will be able to evaluate our position, see how far we’ve come and what we need to improve.
DFB.de: You have been playing for Arsenal FC this season. Was the upcoming game a talking-point within your team?
Maier: Yes, we talked about it a bit. We were very happy when we learned that the game was going to be a sold-out affair. Our coaches also joked with us that we shouldn’t hurt or even kill each other in our international match.
DFB.de: Did anyone come from Germany to visit you in London?
Maier: Two friends from Germany will come and a few friends from England have seen me. My family will be watching the game at home and of course I’m very happy to have that support from home.