Wiesbaden (dpa) – When she moved to England, Melanie Leupolz was also looking forward to packed stadiums and the legendary English football culture.
Given the Corona crisis, she can only enjoy both to a very limited extent. Despite this, she has not regretted her courageous leap from the familiar and home environment at Bayern Munich to the island of Chelsea. “I was expecting a professional club, but that again exceeded my expectations”, Leupolz reported enthusiastically in a press round of the German Football Association.
When the 26-year-old woman from Allgäu talks about football in England, she is entranced. The training methods, the statistical registration of the execution, the attributes, the environment in the club: everything is perfectly organized. Leupolz is impressed by the opportunities she finds in London and how the club of her male colleagues Kai Havertz and Timo Werner also promotes women’s football. “You can see that the quality in England is enormous”, Leupolz emphasizes with regard to the sporting aspect.
Now Leupolz is returning home for a very special international match. The German national team will meet England on Tuesday (4 p.m. / ARD), but apart from the link, there is not much like a year ago. Wiesbaden instead of Wembley, 50 family members instead of 77,768 frantic fans: The Corona crisis has also changed the clash between the two heavyweights of women’s football. “The rivalry is similar to that of the Americans. The matches are always very exciting,” said Kathrin Hendrich before the game between the potential host of the 2027 World Cup and the organizer of the European Championship 2022.
In the past two major tournaments, England did not reach the semi-finals and long-term winner Germany. Leupolz sees reasons and a holistic approach why women’s football is developing so well on the island. “I am very impressed with the general level of professionalism. I have only played in very beautiful stadiums so far. You can rate the stadiums in an app, which is also pressure for smaller clubs to want to do well there.” , said the midfielder.
With her open attitude, Leupolz immediately inspired the people around the Blues. With a few more zoom calls, a first aid course and training to lead with a girls’ team from the club, she is currently securing her coaching license.
Leupolz says that, given her incomplete English skills, she would have liked to wait another year for it, but it didn’t work out: “They were so euphoric that I couldn’t say you misunderstood me.” If ever more fans are allowed into the stadiums, the German will long be used to many other benefits in the British capital.