DW: Lena Oberdorf, your game seems to be booming. What you learned on Sunday the game against Belgium?
Lena Oberdorf: I think I get a little experience with each game. I allowed myself to set aside a little for a header or two. You pay attention to your opponent’s experience when you make contact just before the header. Now I know to keep my distance and then get into the challenge with a little more momentum. That way I didn’t get any previous contact and I could win the duel. And, of course, you continue to learn how to keep it simple and play easy passes.
What would it be like to compete in a three-team tournament involving Germany, Belgium during a global pandemic?
Pretty relaxing actually for us. We arrived at the hotel, we stayed in our room until the coronavirus test was over, and then we got the results. Only then are we together in our group at the table. Overall, we have a lot of rules: always wear a mask, spend a lot of time alone in our room. Sure, it’s a shame you don’t have a lot of contact with the other girls, except on the football pitch, but I think we just have to adapt. We just have to accept the rules and everything. It’s great to be on the pitch.
“Three Nations. One Goal ”is the motto of this tournament which aims to help make things happen 2027 World Cup for Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. What will it be like
That would be really cool. In 2027 of course we hope there will be more spectators. So it will be even better, because the family can come to the stadium again. The three countries are not that far away so you also can’t come and watch away games. There are many beautiful stadiums in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. I would definitely love it if it worked.
You play as a central defender or defensive midfielder, but you’ve already scored six goals this season for your new club, Wolfsburg. Are you more than a defender or more than a goalscorer?
I think right now it’s important to be a defender who can score goals too. At Wolfsburg, I took advantage of the fact that I played further forward, unlike in the national team. But here I am still allowed to progress for corners and free kicks. And Martina [Voss-Tecklenburg, Germany head coach] always ask us defenders to be involved up front, which is why you are actually a defender and a goalscorer.
In the national team you wear the number six, but your club number five. What is your favorite jersey number and could it have something to do with Bayern and West Germany legend Franz Beckenbauer, who also wears the number five?
No, it has nothing to do with it. I don’t really care what number I have, as long as I play from the start [laughs]. The number is number two to me. I used to say, and my parents always told me: ‘It doesn’t matter what’s in the jersey, but who’s in it.’ And that’s why I don’t care what number is on the back. The main thing is to play.
Lena Oberdorf, 19, is one of the most promising talents in German women’s football. He moved from SGS Essen to Wolfsburg in the summer of 2020. In April 2019, he made his debut for the senior national team. Oberdorf was the European Under-17 champion with Germany in 2017.
The interview was conducted by Steffen Focke.
Adapted: Matt Pearson.