Head coach Tina Theune-Meyer said that Germany's triumph in the Fifth UEFA European Women's Championship was their best ever because of the higher standards in the game.
'Levels are higher' - Theune-Meyer
"The 1989 team was very good and so was the team in '95 but the truth is that this team has had to play at a higher level because generally speaking playing levels are higher and this team has met stronger opposition," she said. "Sweden were formidable opponents and in the first half we gave away possession far too easily. There was no visible order and it goes to show that when we are playing strong opposition we are not quite as mature as the media say we are. "Having said that the team has got better every year bit by bit. They have got more used to the system I wanted them to play. This year they have peaked and every one of them has made a little quantative jump."
The coach said that the introduction of golden goal scorer Claudia Müller was crucial. "We have changed centre-forwards in the tournament a number of times and used Claudia more as an assist player. Today was different and she came on at a time when we were getting the upper hand." Theune-Meyer now says goodbye to skipper Doris Fitschen who is quitting international football after her 144th appearance. It also seems certain that midfielder Maren Meinert will now go the same way. "Doris' contribution has been vital" said Theune-Meyer. "We see her go with a tear in her eye. She has been a true leader of the pack and it will be difficult to replace her. Thanks also go to Maren. She has a twinkle in her eye, she enjoys being among people, and she will be difficult to replace also. "This victory should have a posiitve effect on the game in Germany, particularly on the young players but also on the public who who already interested anyway. Thanks to the media coverage the game has won new friends here."
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