After their dead-rubber draw at home to Italian champions, Fiorentina, we spoke to Wolfsburg number one, Almuth Schult about the match and her unrelenting drive to win.
Italians not sticking to the script
After a composed 4-0 win in Florence last week there are few would could have predicted La Viola would take anything from the second leg, let alone that they’d hit their hosts for three, the shock equally felt by the Wolves,
“I was expecting us to win but it didn’t happen, so I’m a little bit disappointed but Florence played a good game, they shot three times and scored three goals; three very nice goals. I think, we could have scored more but it’s just a leg that we had to play and now we’re in the quarter-finals which is perfect.” The shot-stopper finished on a sanguine note, “Today we may be a little disappointed but tomorrow we just see that we’re in the next round.”
Whilst it’s a usual occurrence to see the ball strike the back of the net at the AOK early in the game, the goals are usually in Wolfsburg’s favour, not against them. So when Fiorentina took the lead less than 90 seconds into the match it understandably rattled the ‘keeper,
“Of course I was disappointed to concede! After about 75 seconds the ball was inside the goal and I was really pissed off because before the cross came in I said, “Yeah, pay attention to the second post,” and the ball came back to the middle and they scored. I was not happy.”
Though many may balk at the scoreline, no one expecting Wolfsburg to concede three at the best of times, the goals have been slipping past the slow green defence at the AOK Stadion this season, four shipped over two games against Turbine Potsdam and Werder Bremen. However, Schult doesn’t see a larger problem on the pitch and writes off the concessions on the night to a weakened and unfamiliar starting XI,
“Today, of course, because she shouldn’t have three goals against us, that’s not what we want to have but in the league, I think we have a good defence. There weren’t many chances of the opponents so it’s alright, I think it was just a bad day today and we had 11 on the pitch who weren’t playing together like this before together so maybe that was all it was tonight.”
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Well recognised as one of the best teams in the world and back to the summit of the Frauen-Bundesliga last season after two years away, the domestic double hasn’t taken the spice out of playing, the goalkeeper always driven by rewards,
“I think each human, each player wants to win, that’s what we train for, that’s why we go on the pitch, that’s what we want to do each season. Win, win a title, and each title is different, so it’s not the same if you win the championship in 2013 instead of 2016 or something so that’s always why we go on and want to win titles and be the best in Germany and in Europe and, the world.”
As the league ebbs and flows, teams rise up and shrink away but in an unpredictable season were Freiburg have at long last worked their way to the top of the pile and both Frankfurt and Potsdam look to be well on the path to where they once were, the competition is rife. When asked if Wolfsburg look at the teams around them and what’s happening in the league or whether the focus was always being on the best, Schult conceded it was “both” as,
“On one hand, we always want to be the best and we have a really really good team and we just want to win titles.”
But as the level of competition rises, it’s impossible for the Wolves not to be aware of the current table toppers, as well as the rest,
“But on the other hand, we were watching the other games, the other teams – Freiburg did very well this season, and the season before (and the season before before) and I think we played four semi-finals in five years [in the Pokal] against them, so they’re always very good."
"They have a lot of technical players, a lot of German youth national players now, so it’s very good to see that development and it makes me a little proud to see that the league is getting better and better. So hopefully we’ll be better this year than Freiburg and all the other teams.”