Frankfurt / Main – Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé are still there at Paris Saint-Germain, Sara Däbritz is gone now.
The German playmaker “did not personally meet” her two prominent colleagues at the French star club. The 27-year-old waved it off with a laugh: “It’s not that important now.” Däbritz is in a league of her own anyway: she is the only German field player working abroad at the European Championships from July 6th to 31st – starting next season with the Champions League winner Olympische Lyon.
Däbritz recently signed a three-year contract there after three years at PSG. “I was looking for a new sporting challenge again. It all just came together for me,” she explains. “I also know Olympique from the league. They have a super good team and high ambitions. It was a perfect fit: I can speak the language a bit, know the culture, the league, the style of football.”
The 2016 Olympic champion and 2013 European champion was the last to join the DFB squad in preparation for the European Championships in England. Before that, she has done her move to the new apartment. Did she also spend her subsequent vacation in France? That would have been too much of a good thing: “No, I was in Mallorca on the west coast.” With her partner Lukas Dotzler, who last played for the Bavarian league team DFK Ammerthal, and friends.
After Chelsea’s Melanie Leupolz was pregnant and future Lyon colleague Dzsenifer Marozsan was out of action for the European Championship due to a cruciate ligament rupture, Däbritz is the only foreign professional in Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s team alongside Chelsea’s reserve goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger. And next to the Wolfsburg women Alexandra Popp and Svenja Huth one of three captains.
The national coach appreciates Däbritz beyond all measure. “We need them. She will be a central figure in our game, one of the most important axis players, »says Voss-Tecklenburg about the 86-time national player with the strong left foot, the pronounced overview and the robust physique.
The title is the dream
“We have a great team structure here with the experienced, with the younger ones coming up,” said Däbritz before the first game next Friday against Denmark. “I think if you go to a European Championship as Germany, you can always count on us. Many teams have the quality to play for the title. Of course, that’s our dream too, and we’ll do everything we can to achieve it.”
Born in Amberg, she did not lose her light Upper Palatinate dialect with the rolling R in Paris either. The former FC Bayern and SC Freiburg player has long been able to communicate well in French, even if she doesn’t speak it “perfectly”. Much more has become of her former school English. She is looking for a “completely new challenge” and wants to take the “next step”, says Däbritz.
She will probably miss Messi and Mbappé less in Paris than her beloved Montmartre – and the “outstanding fan culture” at PSG: “The Champions League games in the Prinzenpark with the Ultras in the curve, that’s an intoxicating atmosphere if you only go out to warm up.”
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