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Kessler on Olympics, life after playing

Published: Wednesday 3 August 2016, 10.00CET
Nadine Kessler will be a keen spectator as Germany go for Olympic gold in Brazil. Here she discusses the tournament as well as her life after retiring from playing.
by Paul Saffer
Kessler on Olympics, life after playing
Nadine Kessler in her new ambassadorial role ©Sportsfile
Published: Wednesday 3 August 2016, 10.00CET

Kessler on Olympics, life after playing

Nadine Kessler will be a keen spectator as Germany go for Olympic gold in Brazil. Here she discusses the tournament as well as her life after retiring from playing.

When Nadine Kessler was named both world and European women's player of the year for 2014, it seemed likely that she would be one of the stars of the football tournament at the 2016 Olympics.

But while Germany are indeed in action in Brazil hoping to improve on their 2000, 2004 and 2008 bronze medals, Kessler will not be there. She retired in April, not long after her 28th birthday, due to injury, ending a playing career in which she won UEFA Women's EURO 2013 with Germany as well as UEFA Women's Champions League titles at Turbine Potsdam and Wolfsburg.

Kessler is now a UEFA women's football development programme ambassador as well as a trainee coach. Here she speaks to UEFA.com about life after playing, Germany's Olympic hopes and the woman who gave the midfielder all of her caps, Silvia Neid, who is stepping down as national coach after 11 years following the tournament in Brazil.

On Germany's Olympic hopes ...

We always have the ability to win a World Cup or Olympic gold but after the last World Cup the USA are the favourites. Also France and others are pretty good. [Germany] have worked hard in recent weeks to be in good shape for Brazil and I think the team can do a lot. I hope they go for gold!

On Silvia Neid ...

Silvia is an outstanding coach. I don't know if any female coach has ever won as much as her. She's pretty relaxed now and not thinking: "I really need this gold medal to finish my career."

She has done so much for German football and women's football in general. So the girls are motivated not just for themselves and their country to go for gold but also for Silvia to get a gold medal too.

2014: Kessler named Europe's best

On retirement ...

At the moment I am doing different things. I am travelling a lot, in the [UEFA] ambassadorial role, also for my sponsors, also for the German FA. I am getting my coaching licence, I am doing my masters, I am doing nearly everything I can to do my new function and do what I love. It is time for me to now find out where to take my next steps.

On TV work ...

At the men's EURO I did some work on TV, which was pretty cool. It's something I really like doing – media things, I'm open to. I need to experience a lot because as an athlete you have a restricted life. It takes a bit of time to break out of that life and organise yourself. It's pretty exciting.

On changing from playing to watching ...

I have no problem being a spectator. Sometimes it still hurts to be a spectator but I just love watching football. As a player I always liked to analyse the game and individuals, so I am having fun being a spectator.

Last updated: 17/07/17 11.52CET

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https://www.uefa.com/womensworldcup/news/newsid=2393929.html#kessler+olympics+life+after+playing