“On days like these you wish it would never end, on days like these we still have all the time in the world.” Those are the lyrics from a song by German band die Toten Hosen that have now become a standard part of any celebration by Germany’s football teams, so it was no surprise to hear them blaring out of the speakers in the changing room following the country’s triumph at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014.
“I’m lost for words,” Germany captain Lina Magull told FIFA.com after the final whistle. “At the start of the tournament we didn’t expect this because we had so many injuries and we weren’t playing well together as a team. We improved as the competition progressed and in the group stage we were really good. I’ve already won a few things with Wolfsburg and have been in the U-20s right from the start, which makes this all the better. This was my last chance to win a trophy with a junior team and luckily we made the most of it.” Magull then turned around to face her team-mate Sara Dabritz before shouting “we’re world champions” into the microphone.
“I’m still speechless and it hasn’t sunk in yet that we won the World Cup, it’s simply amazing and we’re over the moon,” said a beaming Dabritz, who then proceeded to give her best Toten Hosen imitation with a wholehearted laugh: “On days like these ... you become a world champion!”
Teamwork and self-belief
With a Germany flag draped over her shoulders, Pauline Bremer soon caught up with her colleagues and could likewise barely contain her joy while speaking to FIFA.com. “It’s a fantastic feeling,” said the grinning winner of the adidas Silver Boot as the tournament’s second top scorer. “I’m so happy we won and it was an incredible team performance. We’re all absolutely delighted. We kept pushing ourselves and were determined to win the match. We never stopped believing and in the changing room we reminded ourselves of our strengths and said we needed to improve. Fortunately things worked out well for us in extra time.”
Theresa Panfil could only echo her team-mates’ sentiments. “I feel phenomenal and am totally lost for words,” said the diminutive midfielder, who was one of the best players on the pitch. “We’re overjoyed and it was unbelievable to win after playing like that. We grew together as a group over the course of the tournament and everyone fought for each other in every game. Nobody put themselves above the team. We had the players who scored the goals and led us to victory.”
One goalscorer in particular, Lena Petermann, was thrust into the spotlight after the game having netted a 98th-minute winner to hand Germany the World Cup trophy.
“At the moment I don’t really know what’s going on,” said the visibly stunned 20-year-old in the depths of Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. “I don’t know where I am. It just feels good but it doesn’t feel real yet. Right now I’m kind of in a state of shock and I still can’t quite grasp what’s happened. I’ll need a few days before it all properly sinks in. I think our last two games were the toughest I’ve ever played in. Tonight is going to be amazing because it’s something you probably only ever get to experience once in your life. You need to celebrate that accordingly.”
Or, as the Toten Hosen would say: “On days like these you wish it would never end.”