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Martina Voss-Tecklenburg extends Germany contract

April 3, 2023

Martina Voss-Tecklenburg is set to remain at the helm of the women's national team beyond this summer's World Cup Down Under. The vote of confidence comes after she led Germany to the final of the 2022 Euros in England.

Martina Voss-Tecklenburg
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg took over as Germany's head coach in late 2018Image: Anke Waelischmiller/SVEN SIMON/picture alliance

The German Football Association (DFB) have elected to go with continuity for the women's national team, extending the contracts of head coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg and her assistant Britta Carlson until mid-2025. This comes a few months prior to the kickoff of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand on July 20 and means the coaching staff are to remain in place for the 2024 Olympics in Paris and the 2025 European Championship.

"Martina Voss-Tecklenburg is one of the defining faces and a great ambassador for women's football, even beyond Germany's borders," said DFB President Bernd Neuendorf in a statement, in which he also praised the coaching staff for last summer's Euros success.

World Cup title a long-held dream

A former Germany player, Voss-Tecklenburg, now 55, took over as head coach of the national team in November 2018. Upon taking the post five years ago, Voss-Tecklenburg stated that her ultimate goal was to win a World Cup — something she failed to accomplish as a player. After signing her contract extension on Monday, she reiterated that goal.

"We have really high ambitions for the World Cup at the other side of the world this year. After the European Championship last year, I'm convinced that our work is not yet done, " Voss-Tecklenburg said in a statement.

The two-time World Cup champions have been drawn into a group with Morocco, Colombia and South Korea. During the current international break Germany are set to play friendlies against the Netherlands and Brazil.

Martina Voss-Tecklenburg celebrates with Alexandra Popp after Popp scored a goal
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg's women fell to England at the final hurdle last summerImage: DYLAN MARTINEZ/REUTERS

Successful spell with Switzerland

Prior to taking the Germany job, Voss-Tecklenburg spent six years as coach of the Swiss women's national team, who secured World Cup qualification for the first time in 2014 under her guidance.

At the tournament in 2015, they came up short in the last 16 before getting knocked out in the group stages of the 2017 European Championships. They then failed to qualify for the 2019 World Cup.

Nevertheless, no one had a bad word to say about the German head coach upon her departure. 

"With her belief in us and her German mentality, she was able to advance Swiss women's football,” said Swiss national team player Lia Wälti of her former coach.

Voss-Tecklenburg's passion for the sport is intense, but she has dropped the hard edge she had as a player in favor of a gentler demeanor. "I've learned to handle the fact that people have weaknesses," she said.

Four-time European champion

A midfielder by trade, Voss-Tecklenburg's style of play drew comparisons to Pierre Littbarski, a male German World Cup winner in 1990. During her career she enjoyed a lot of highs, but also some lows. She won four European Championships (1989, '91, '95, '97) with Germany and finished as a runner-up at the World Cup in 1995.

While she managed to collect 125 caps for Germany and six Bundesliga titles, her career was often hampered by injury meaning she missed out on Euro '97 and the 1999 World Cup.

Kicked out of the Olympic squad

The biggest disappointment of her time as a player came when she was kicked out of Germany's Olympic squad by head coach Tina Theune-Meyer before the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Her dismissal was attributed to a private dispute with her then-partner, Inka Grings, with whom she was living at the time.

"For me it was an absolute nightmare not being able to participate in the Olympics,” Voss-Tecklenburg said in an interview soon after the decision. "I don't understand it and I don't accept it.”

Years later, in an interview with German publication Der Spiegel, she expressed the suspicion that the real reason was that the male-dominated German FA were afraid to get into in the topic of homosexuality in women's football.

Ending her career with an own goal

The Duisburg-native's playing career ended on a somewhat sour note in the 2003 German Cup final when FCR 2001 Duisburg lost 1-0 to 1. FFC Frankfurt and the only goal of the game was an own goal by Voss-Tecklenburg — in the 89th minute, no less.

She said after the match that she didn't know if she'd "be able to get over that," but she did. She found a new calling as a head coach, a vocation that has taken her to the top job in German women's football.

"It's the cherry on top of my career," Voss-Tecklenburg said at that 2018 media conference when her appointment was announced. "I want to win titles — I still haven't been a World Cup winner."

Edited by: Chuck Penfold