"I haven't really realised what we've achieved," said a jubilant Nadine Angerer after her two penalty saves helped Germany claim their sixth UEFA European Women's Championship title in a row and eighth overall.
The 34-year-old admitted to feeling "completely exhausted" after a frenetic final against Norway at the Friends Arena in Solna, which was settled by Anja Mittag's 49th-minute goal. The goalscorer herself said that Angerer – who has now been a part of five European title-winning squads – "deserves all the attention", while midfielder Nadine Kessler indicated the importance of Germany's backs-to-the-wall defensive efforts in the closing moments.
Nadine Angerer, Germany goalkeeper
It's the first time this has happened to me. Of course, I'm really happy and that was just fantastic today.
I was really stressed and I feel completely exhausted now, because I haven't really realised what we've achieved. But you could see that we are a 'Turniermannschaft' (tournament team): we fought our way into the tournament and we improved at the right time. There was so much energy and stress in the game today. Again, it was a fantastic team performance.
We didn't expect Norway to play that offensively. It happens quite often that, when you save a penalty and the opponent had played extra time in the semi-final, that they just collapse, but compliments to Norway – they never gave up. They kept playing, but you also have to say that we stood firm and that's fantastic.
From the 87th or 85th minute onwards, I watched the clock every ten seconds and you cannot imagine how long six, seven or eight minutes can be. I thought it would never end.
We sat down together and we said we couldn't continue like that [after the group stage]. We have a lot of potential, but you shouldn't look at it superficially. We had a lot of young players who were thrown in at the deep end. They didn't get a chance to enjoy the tournament and just play for maybe ten minutes. They had to take responsibility from the beginning and that helped us to improve and thankfully it ended positively.
Anja Mittag, Germany goalscorer
It was just crazy. When 'Natze' [Angerer] saved the first penalty in the first half and then a second one in the second half, that was just awesome. Which goalkeeper saves two penalties in a final? She deserves all the attention – it's crazy what she has done for us today.
[For the goal] I saw that Célia [Okoyino da Mbabi] got the ball and I was standing on the other side free without an opponent. I shouted at her, she played a good pass and I just had to tap it in. She did it really well and I didn't have to do too much.
When the referee awarded the second penalty, I thought "damn" – another one. It might sound strange, but I had full belief in Natze and I thought she would save it again. She proved it and this is really crazy.
I think all the other nations hate us, but who cares? Apparently it's not that easy to beat us and that's why we deserve to be at the top. I think the key to winning the tournament was the defeat against Norway, then the game against Italy and especially the one against Sweden, when we proved that we are ready when it counts. We were compact as a team, showed a great will to win and had a lot of discipline. We worked hard and we had to fight, and that's what we did.
Nadine Kessler, Germany midfielder
I won't stop playing football now! I think you can always get better and become a better player. It was a fantastic year, just phenomenal, but I want to play football for quite a while yet.
Today's game had all ingredients of what can happen in a match – an offside goal, penalties, an outstanding goalkeeping performance from Natze. It was very entertaining for the spectators and a thrilling game.
I think we dominated at times, but there were also periods when Norway got stronger. But we never stopped believing in ourselves and I think you could see that until the end. We were more compact today and in the end we deserved not to concede.
At the end we did everything that was required to defend – sliding tackles, battling, kicking the ball out. That's football and sometimes it has to be like that. We will definitely party now.
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