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Lena Oberdorf is Germany’s MVP for the Euro 2022 final, though crisp tackles get less applause than goals


Lena Oberdorf is Germany’s MVP for the Euro 2022 final, though crisp tackles get less applause than goals

When Germany arrived in England ahead of the 2022 European Championships there were familiar questions about the eight-time champion. But Germany impressed along the way in Sunday’s record with a resolute team spirit and a resilient midfield.Watch LIVE on ESPN and ESPN+ at 11:30 a.m.)

While most players on the team would rather praise the team’s ethos than their individual contributions, few players stood out like midfield kingpin Lena Oberndorf. Capable of playing the No.10 role or moving up to No.6, the versatile Obersdorf has played most roles on the pitch over the years, even finding himself among the sticks in the past.

A tough tackle with a flair for danger, Oberndorf’s first senior outing came with the German national team for the 2019 World Cup – two months before the Gelsburg native made his World Cup debut at the 2019 World Cup. age of 17. She made her debut, becoming the sixth-youngest player to represent Germany in women’s football’s biggest tournament.

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With his backline (specifically centre-back position) Achilles heel long, Oberndorf’s first foray into the team was in the backline. Yet despite all the accolades she received, it was clear she wasn’t using her best abilities. Over time, German coach Martina Vos-Tecklenburg developed the youngster, positioning him in the middle of the park where he painted for SGS Essen before moving on to German champions VfL Wolfsburg.

At Wolfsburg, Oberndorf only upped his game and challenged his relative youth – as he remarked after Germany’s first Euro game: “I don’t know if I’m 20 “. pitch, everyone sees me as a 28-year-old player.”

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With a growing collection of team and individual accolades heading into her second major, it’s certainly easy to forget that Oberndorf is only 20, but as she puts it: “I forget my age, just playing, just having fun. “I get involved in double incidents because that’s what I do best.”

Indeed, grabs and tackles are where the midfielder shines, but instead of throwing his body into challenges and slicing the grass with raised roots, the midfielder is adept at reading the game and to time his interceptions. She could have led the tournament in bookings – three yellow cards in 354 minutes this month, ending her back-to-back group stage yellows, meaning she was knocked out of Germany’s win over Finland – but he is far from being a hasty player. . ,

Heading into the final, Obersdorf is third in the tournament in doubles completed with 69 and second with 19 tackles, which isn’t too bad considering his playing card, at least considering the fact that he play online Sergio Ramos. The Spanish defender is also not far from the referee’s book.

Growing up playing football in the garden with his father and brother – Tim, who plays for Fortuna Düsseldorf in the 2nd Bundesliga – Oberndorf also spent time playing in the boys’ teams. Standing at 5ft 9in, built for considerable muscularity, the midfielder made an impressive figure in women’s football – but in a team with teenagers she quickly learned she was smart. Need to be strong because well. It shows in his challenges, with the 20-year-old knowing when to step up and shift his body between an opposing player and the ball, or when to smash the ball with the heel strike on one leg is to stretch. ,

With Germany having an unstable team mentality this summer, we have seen a calm in the way the team carry out their duties on the pitch. Obersdorf’s teammate Svenja Huth at Wolfsburg continued: “It’s been important throughout the tournament that we have a good mix of experienced players who bring a certain ease.”

With a squad split between young and old, with ten players aged 24 and under and six in their thirties, it’s easy to consider one of the stalwarts like Alex Pop. It will happen, but it will be wrong. Cut to the rest of the likes of Obersdorf or Giulia Gwynne in your second senior tournament.

That’s when the team are told to defend – to get behind the ball as a group and prevent any clear or obvious path to their opposition to Merrill Fürhams’ goal – from Oberndorf. Or, in the face of a fast counter-attack from France, Oberndorf’s ability to read the game and run without panic before slipping to recover the ball from an attacker showed the qualities of one of the senior players in the game. ‘crew.

In many ways, Oberndorf characterizes the group that Vos-Tecklenburg has assembled: young but experienced, talented but humble, individually brilliant but completely focused on the collective success of the team. After losing in the Arnold Clark Cup – a four-team friendly tournament held in England in February – Oberndorf was unavailable for selection, and needed to clear the German midfield cornerstone first if he was to reach again the necessary final.

In an age when the striker is king, Oberndorf is not the kind of player to steal the show or grab the headlines – yet without his consistency and ability Germany wouldn’t have come this far. He is the clear choice for the player of the tournament, and Oberndorf can still have his hand on the Euro crown.

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