Ann Katrin Berger exclusive: "English fans are crazy – but I like it!"
FourFourTwo met Chelsea and Germany goalkeeper Ann Katrin Berger, who told us about Germany's transition, her favourite players and her tip for Euro 2022
With 100 days until Euro 2022, Carnaby Street was transformed into a giant Fussball table with decorations everywhere and a carnival atmosphere ahead of football coming home.
FourFourTwo went down to speak to a rival, though. Ann Katrin Berger, Germany and Chelsea goalkeeper, was on hand to give her tips for the tournament, how the German fans compare to those over here… and whether Germany are actually worried about our chances.
You won't be surprised as to who she tips to win.
How have you found English fans since being over here?
Good! In the last five years, things have been massively improving and it’s quite nice to see the transition, from how professional things have become now – but also how there are more and more supporters at the game on a Sunday these days. It doesn’t matter what game you play in – the whole package is pretty good, here.
What’s the biggest difference between English and German fans?
The English fans are crazy but I like it! They’re loud – that’s what you know England for, they just love football and I just love to see that it doesn’t matter if it’s men’s football or women’s football, they’re just crazy – that’s missing a little bit in Germany. It’s hard to get the same level with the supporters in Germany because there’s more investment going into women’s football and that’s perhaps where Germany has to build a little more.
England lost to Germany in 2019 at Wembley. How have both teams developed since then?
Germany were in a lot of transition back then, we had a lot of experienced players who retired from the national team. In the last two or three years, we’ve had a lot of different types of players coming through. You just have to get used to each other. With England, I think they’ve always had a good team but it’s more about what the new manager brings in, now. Sarina Weigman has brought a new culture that’s really good: they’ve always had good players but they just needed to learn how to work with each other and work off each other. It’s really nice to see how England have improved.
Are Germans worried about England this summer?
I think that Germany in general – the players, the staff and the fans – I wouldn’t say they’re worried but they’re conscious about how good England can be. England have the depth and for the Euros, that’s very important. There’s respect there – which you have to have – but anything more than that shouldn’t be the case.
Do Germany expect to win this time around?
We’d never be satisfied to come second, third or fourth place. I think there is always – and there will always be – an expectation in Germany to win. That’s always there and like I said, we have young players coming through and a lot of experience so I believe we should do well at this Euros, just because we don’t have the biggest names compared to maybe England and Spain. People aren’t talking about us but I think that can be good for us: to be the underdog in that case. I’m just excited for the performances we’ll have in our locker.
Are there any players you’re excited to watch particularly?
Lea Schuller is a really good player to watch. Klara Buhl, I like, I like her direct runs. But in midfield, we have a lot of experienced players with Dzsenifer Marozsan and Lina Magull – she’s a very talented player and I like to watch her. Here in England, I enjoy watching Laura Hemp. She has that know-how and she’s so exciting to watch. Every team has exciting players.
Who’s going to win the Euros?
I can’t believe that you asked that question! I think Germany. A lot of people underestimate us now because we’ve not been as good for the last couple of years. It’s going to be really interesting – it depends which country starts the tournament well. It’s a straightforward tournament but you can’t really lose a game to anyone else. It will be tough for every single team.
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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.
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