Recently there was trouble because of two lectures and the termination of her contract with the DFB, before that there were many mysteries about her well-being: Martina Voss-Tecklenburg now explains what has been going on with her in the last few months.
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg had been in hiding for months, and now the former national coach of the German footballers is speaking emotionally and self-critically for the first time about her illness – and her mistakes.
A feeling of pressure on the chest, panic attacks and insomnia were the result of the World Cup debacle and its processing, said the 55-year-old in a ZDF interview: “I basically collapsed completely.”
The fears, insecurity and emptiness in her head became increasingly stronger – almost as if the plug had been pulled from me. The German Football Association announced at the beginning of September that Voss-Tecklenburg was ill. After a long standoff, the DFB appointed Horst Hrubesch as interim coach for the German women, who had failed in the preliminary round of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand – a year after the strong performance at the European Championship in England and narrowly missing out on the title.
Public appearances caused criticism
The DFB terminated the contract with Voss-Tecklenburg, which runs until 2025, at the beginning of the month. During the former national player’s term of office, “important impulses were given in the area of women’s football,” explained association boss Bernd Neuendorf in a short statement.
In addition to the tournament favorite’s World Cup debacle, Voss-Tecklenburg also recently attracted criticism because she gave two lectures even though she had not yet been reported as healthy again by the DFB at the time. “I then made the public appearances. In retrospect you can say: How stupid – mistake,” said Voss-Tecklenburg now.
She took a vacation and the rest of the year’s vacation “in order to get completely healthy, to simply use these weeks again, to come back and to be able to take part in life again.” A joint press release was not made at the time for various reasons. When asked whether it had been an absolute communication disaster, the former national coach said: “To some extent it was.”
“I wasn’t feeling well before the World Cup”
“I was sick and I didn’t know how long this process would take. I realized that I just have to be there for myself now,” said Voss-Tecklenburg in the interview about the time before. She noticed: “My head is empty. I’m just crying. I’m not able to think constructively.” Her doctor’s advice was clear: to withdraw first in order to minimize the risk of depressive episodes.
“I wasn’t feeling well. I wasn’t feeling well before the World Cup,” said Voss-Tecklenburg. She had been suffering from insomnia for years. She had a lot of infections during her illness and lost six kilos. “I lay here for four weeks and couldn’t do anything.”
The vice-European champions had already weakened in the test matches before Australia. After the World Cup ended, she tried to lift the players up again and give them courage. “Everyone somehow tried to function to a certain extent, to do justice to their task.” But the mood was of course extremely depressing, said Voss-Tecklenburg.
An important international match against Denmark is coming up
That hasn’t changed at home either. After several meetings with the coaching staff, she began to wonder whether she was still the right person for the position – “as a coach, as a person, as a human being.” There was criticism of Voss-Tecklenburg internally and publicly. None of the players around captain Alexandra Popp have publicly advocated for the former national coach to return.
When asked how she was doing, Voss-Tecklenburg said at the beginning of the interview: “Good – again. I’m on the right track.” The review of the botched World Cup will also accompany the national players and their fans around the all-important international match on December 1st in Rostock against Denmark, where the Olympic qualification for Paris 2024 is at stake. On the same day, the new documentary “Born for str.c1514036236dd90216ae532183655d55.css” fetchpriority=”high”> appears on ZDF
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