Germany: Player Profiles

Germany Women squad 2023 Credit: DFB-Frauen on Twitter

FIFA WWC Germany: Player Profiles

Pulse Sports Team 12:40 - 25.06.2023

Get to know all the players in the Germany squad participating at the Women’s World Cup this summer.


Merle Frohms

Date of birth: 28/01/1995
Club: Wolfsburg

One of the best goalkeepers in Europe, she reached the Champions League final with Wolfsburg in 2022-23, where they took a 2-0 lead but eventually lost 3-2 against Barcelona. Not the tallest of goalkeepers at 1.75m but what she lacks in height she makes up for with her agility. Frohms’ first football education came in the garden with her older brother shooting at her with a swing frame acting as the goal. 

She had very little luck in stopping her brother’s shots so she went to the local club to be taught how to keep goal. Her first goalkeeper's shirt was that of Oliver Kahn and as a teenager she joined Wolfsburg but had very little playing time because Almuth Schult was standing in her way. After two years at Eintracht Frankfurt she returned and is not the undisputed No 1. Has admitted that her sense of direction is almost non-existent.

Ann-Katrin Berger

Date of birth: 09.10.1990
Club: Chelsea

A true fighter. Last year, during the Euros in England she found out that the thyroid cancer had returned. She did not tell the team because she did not want it to impact their campaign and said she just wanted to enjoy the Euros. Finally she had to tell them and everyone at her club, Chelsea. 

“I hope I can help others in a similar situation by sharing my journey with them”, she posted on Instagram and told Sky Sports: “The good thing is that’s how I’ve found to deal with the illness over the years. You have to focus on something else, to hold onto something. For me, that was the Euros. Football saved my brain and saved my mental health because I had something to hold on to.” By September she was back playing for Chelsea, leading the team to a WSL and FA Cup double. A superb penalty saver.

Stina Johannes

Date of birth: 23/01/2000
Club: Eintracht Frankfurt

Succeeded international teammate Merle Frohms at Eintracht Frankfurt at the start of the 2022-23 season and has impressed, the team finishing third in the Frauen-Bundesliga and conceding on average a goal a game. 

Got into football when Germany hosted the men’s World Cup in 2006 and when Germany won the Under-17 Euros 11 years later she saved four penalties in the semi-final shootout and one more in the final. Spent three months in Japan with Kobe Leonessa but managed only one game because of a back problem. Studies mathematics and told Magenta Sport that maths and football could not be much more different: “All my fellow students are not really into football so it's a completely different world.”

Ena Mahmutovic

Date of birth: 23/12/2003
Club: Duisburg

At 19, she is the youngest member of the World Cup squad, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg making her the third-choice goalkeeper without a single cap before the announcement. Was born in Duisburg and this season her performances were a huge part of MSV staying up in the Frauen-Bundesliga. 

Mahmutovic is so good with the ball at her feet that she made her Bundesliga debut as an outfield player. She used to be an attacking player and that is evident when you see her technique with the ball. There is a sense that Mahmutovic is a future No 1 for Germany.


Kathrin Hendrich

Date of birth: 06/04/1992
Club: Wolfsburg

Born in Eupen, she could have played for Belgium, but opted for Germany, which the national team coach, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, is very happy about. Hendrich is a reliable player in a problem area for the Germany team: fast, strong in duels and difficult to get past. In short: one of the best defenders in the Bundesliga. 

Part of the Wolfsburg team that reached the Champions League final in 2022-23, she is unlikely to do anything that shocks her teammates. “She’s a bit of a prude”, her former teammate Turid Knaak once said jokingly. Has said that comparing women’s and men’s football “is complete nonsense” and that she is not interested in equal pay but does think “it should be possible to create similar conditions for the two. There is  a lot of potential among us women, especially in the higher divisions.”

Marina Hegering

Date of birth: 17/04/1990
Club: Wolfsburg

So strong in one-on-ones that it is seemingly impossible to get past her. At the Euros last summer she played every game for Germany as they reached the final and pushed England all the way at Wembley. Nicknamed Maschina, she made the team of the tournament. 

Captained Germany to gold in the Under-20 World Cup back in 2010 but was then unable to play regularly for six years because of a persistent heel injury. “During that time, the topic of the national team was completely off the table”, she told taz. “Then I was only thinking about actually being able to stand on a football pitch again.” The commanding centre-back, who made her international debut at the age of 29, has had injury problems this season too and only came off the bench as Wolfsburg lost to Barcelona in the Champions League final. Next season will be her last as a player before taking on a coaching role with her current club, Wolfsburg.

Sara Doorsoun

Date of birth: 17/11/1991
Club: Eintracht Frankfurt

Doorsoun started out as a goalkeeper, before playing as a winger and then, gradually, slipped back into central defence. Eighteen months ago she left Wolfsburg, with whom she won two Bundesliga titles, for Eintracht Frankfurt to get more playing time, and it paid off as she was included in the Euro 2022 squad. 

Her mother comes from Turkey and her father from Iran. “It's so nice to see how much support I've always had from home and how proud people are of me, especially my dad”, she told Sky. Doorsoun was born in Cologne and is a typical Rhinelander: very funny and one of the entertainers of the team. Set to start the World Cup on the bench but Martina Voss-Tecklenburg knows she is a reliable option to send on.

Sjoeke Nüsken

Date of birth: 22/01/2001
Club: Chelsea

Is often asked about her Norwegian first name, so let's get to the bottom of it straight away: it is pronounced without the e, ie “Sjoke”. As a child, Nüsken was considered one of Germany's greatest tennis talents, but chose football and was given a special permission to play boys football with SV Westfalia Rhynern until she was 18. For a long time she played as an attacking midfielder but is now at home in central defence or central midfield. 

Has signed a three-year deal with WSL powerhouse Chelsea and, although she admits her English could be better, she is excited about the new challenge: “English football is cool and it is the right thing for me now,” she says. The Chelsea manager, Emma Hayes, said: “Sjoeke is a fantastic young midfield player whose ability to play the ball deep into the opponents’ half is not her only standout strength: there is everything from her interceptions, her reading of the game and her overall presence.”

Sophia Kleinherne

Date of birth: 12/04/2000
Club: Eintracht Frankfurt

Kleinherne is a very experienced 23-year-old, having been chosen by Uefa as one of the best 10 talents in European football in 2020 and having already played more than 100 Bundesliga games. Used to play up front believes that helps her as a defender.  “I know how strikers think,” she has said. 

Has this season moved from centre-back to right-back for her club, Eintracht Frankfurt, and that could help her cause to be included in the starting XI for the World Cup as Giulia Gwinn is out. International teammate Sara Däbritz was a role model for Kleinherne growing up. “I looked up to her and said to myself: I want to be like that one day,” she told the Goethe Institute.

Felicitas Rauch

Date of birth: 30/04/1996
Club: VfL Wolfsburg

Sometimes you have to experience the lows to reach the highs and that was the case for Rauch after she was left out of the 2019 World Cup. National team coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg phoned Rauch to let her know about her decision but the left-back now sees it as a turning point in her career. 

“The rejection has made me stronger,” she says. “I can now deal with setbacks much better.” Has a hallux valgus, a metatarsal that protrudes outwards, and for many years played with boots two sizes too big, before the manufacturer made special boots for her. Rauch, who is known for her dry sense of humour, has a bachelor's degree in business psychology and a master's in innovation and futurology.

Carolin Simon

Date of birth: 24/11/1992
Club: Bayern Munich

Played at the 2019 World Cup, but then went three years without an international call-up and was left out of the European Championship in England last year. “That was hard,” she told the Rasenfunk podcast. “You're sitting at home and all your colleagues from the club and friends are playing this tournament.”

The attack-minded left-back made a return for the trip to the United States in December and has been rewarded for a fine domestic season with inclusion in the World Cup squad. The Bayern coach, Alexander Straus, has praised her calmness on the ball and fantastic left foot. Runs a t-shirt shop with her brother Felix.

Sarai Linder

Date of birth: 26/10/1999 
Club: TSG Hoffenheim

Comes from Sinsheim, the town where Hoffenheim plays, and when extending her contract with her home club until 2025 said: “The club means a lot to me because I grew up here and was able to develop step by step.” 

This year has already been good for Linder with Hoffenheim qualifying for next season’s Champions League and the young right-back making her international debut against Brazil in April. “The World Cup would be a huge dream,” she said that night and sometimes dreams come true – she has made Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s squad. Spent one year playing for UCF Knights university team in Orlando.


Sara Däbritz

Date of birth: 15/02/1995 
Club: Olympique Lyon

A superbly elegant and effective player, Däbritz is one of the most influential German players of all time. Technically supremely gifted, “she takes responsibility in all areas of the pitch,” according to the Germany coach, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg. “She has an incredible presence and aura.” 

Moved to France four years ago and has continued to progress despite suffering from an ACL injury early on. The set-back led to her calling for more research into women’s football and injuries “because the female body is different from the male body”. Grew up in north-eastern Bavaria, where she was playing with boys into her teens. Arrives at the World Cup having won the double with Lyon in her first year with the club.

Lina Magull

Date of birth: 15/08/1994
Club: Bayern Munich

A complete midfielder who has won two Champions Leagues, four Bundesliga titles and two German Cup, but has yet to taste victory at a major tournament with Germany. She and the team came close in England last year, but lost to the hosts in the final. Is an inspirational leader for club and country but does it the quiet way, think Iniesta rather than Effenberg. 

A goal threat from midfield she says she has five minutes every day “where she goes a bit crazy”. Comes from Dortmund but has always been a Bayern fan, something the family, somehow, seems to have accepted.

Lena Oberdorf

Date of birth: 19/12/2001
Club: Wolfsburg

A world class player at the tender age of 21, Oberdorf came fifth in the Guardian’s 100 best female footballers in the world in 2022. Is already approaching 40 caps going into the World Cup and is set to dictate Germany’s play from her deep-lying position at the base of the midfield. 

She grew up playing boys football and used to think girls' football was silly and if you try to get past her, expect it to hurt. Her sliding tackles are legendary. A lot of boys did not like the fact that she was playing with them – and was better than them – and said things like ‘go back to the kitchen’,” she told in 2020. Broke Birgit Prinz’s record to become the youngest female German World Cup player in 2019. A Schalke fan, she is called Obi, like the German DIY chain, because there were too many Lenas in the team.

Melanie Leupolz

Date of birth: 14/04/1994 
Club: Chelsea

Leupolz’s passing game is second to none and she is good in the air and strong in the tackle. In fact, she is such an all-round player that she could displace Sara Däbritz or Lina Magull from the Germany starting XI. The only mother in the German World Cup squad, she announced in April 2022 that she was pregnant and would miss the Euros. “I think a lot of clubs still take it quite personally when a player decides to have a child and takes a break from football for a few months,” she told Sports Illustrated. “I was lucky that Chelsea were very supportive. Not all players have that, and that must change.” 

She made her Chelsea return in January and was back with the national team in April. She can count on the support from the national team coach, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, who was the first mother to play for Germany. “We will do everything possible to help Melanie,” promised Martina Voss-Tecklenburg. “There are 23 babysitters plus grandma Martina travelling.”

Sydney Lohmann

Date of birth: 19/06/2000
Club: Bayern Munich

A classic box-to-box player who can do the fancy stuff as well as the dirty work. Her coach at Bayern, Alexander Strauss, calls her a “difference player” and she is one of the few players in this squad who can play a vertical, decisive through-ball with accuracy. Can be prone to lose the ball a bit too often but if she does she often recovers it with her physicality. 

Is ready to play a bigger part for Germany in the coming years but the competition for places in midfield is pretty brutal. Her name? Her parents met while travelling, lived in Australia for a year and got married there. And that’s why she goes by the name of the city where Germany will take on Colombia on 30 July. Made her debut in the Bundesliga at the age of 16, and has as a life goal to make “a perfect pizza” and has considered investing in a special oven to achieve that.

Lena Lattwein

Date of birth: 02/05/2000
Club: VfL Wolfsburg

Usually plays alongside the other Lena (Oberdorf) in central midfield for Wolfsburg but her versatility is her trump card – she can also play at centre-back or in attacking midfield. Broke her collarbone this season, which hampered the VfL stability and possibly lost them the Champions League final against Barcelona, although Lattwein came on for the last 20 minutes. 

Remarkably she got a perfect score for her a-levels, 900 points out of 900 possible. “She was always the best, but no one begrudged her because she was so modest,” one of her teachers once told Bild. Studies business mathematics at the University of Mannheim. “I need that for my balance to football, something for my head”, she told the Women's Bundesliga magazine.

Klara Bühl

Date of birth: 07/12/2000
Club: FC Bayern Munich

Her reaction to missing an open goal against Austria at last year’s Euro became a meme. It was a pretty bad miss, to be fair, and having just been substituted, she had to relive it on a video screen. But all she could do was to lean back, put a hand to her head - and laugh. 

The picture of her on the bench, smiling ruefully, was then chosen for the team’s Whatsapp group. She doesn’t normally miss those chances and is one of the best young attackers to emerge in the country in recent years. Lived in Paris with her parents for four years when growing up and went to nursery there. Still has a very German pastime: knitting. In a short interview with the Bayern video team she admitted that she “is pretty crazy and not always in control of what she is doing”.

Jule Brand

Date of birth: 16/10/2002
Club: VfL Wolfsburg

The winger is a big fan of Kylian Mbappé – and has a similar style of play as the Frenchman. Brand has an excellent technique that allows her to weave past opponents and she is also extremely quick, her long strides while keeping the ball under control making her unplayable at times. 

Considered one of the biggest talents in world football, she just needs to become a bit more efficient and clinical in front of the goal, where her timing can sometimes go awry. “Jule herself sometimes doesn’t even know what she can do,” says the Germany coach, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg. Had hoped for more playing time during her first season at Wolfsburg, competition for places so tough that she played the whole 90 minutes only once in the Bundesliga. But she might be on her way to win an Oscar soon: she was the German voice for Betty in the new Spider-Man film.

Chantal Hagel

Date of birth: 20/07/1998 
Club: Wolfsburg

Hagel’s goal productivity this season (3) could not match that of the previous campaign (12) but that was partly down to her having a more defensive role for Hoffenheim. The team lost out on the final Champions League spot to Eintracht Frankfurt but Hagel is joining Wolfsburg in the summer so will still be able to play in Europe’s premier club competition. 

It is a well-trodden path with players such as Jule Brand, Lena Lattwein and Tabea Sellner (previously Waßmuth) having made the same switch. Has eight caps at the time of writing, having ended up on the losing side four times. After the defeat against Spain, she at least managed to get hold of Alexia Putellas’ shirt, a player Hagel describes as a role model. Has missed morning training recently as she is about to finish her degree but will be able to focus fully on her football at Wolfsburg. Celebrates her 25th birthday on the day of the opening match.

Paulina Krumbiegel

Date of birth: 27/10/2000
Club: Hoffenheim

One of the newer faces in the Germany set-up, she came through the Hoffenheim youth system and made her Germany debut in September 2020 in a Euro qualifier against Montenegro. Suffered a huge setback roughly a year later when she tore her ACL.

The road back was hard and long but she learned something along the way, becoming a bit more humble and appreciative of what she has. “I don’t get as annoyed by small things as I used to,” she said. Missed out on the Euro 2022 squad but went to England to watch Germany’s game as a fan. A winger, who can also play at full-back, she scored from the halfway line in her first game back from injury.

Alexandra Popp  

Date of birth: 06/04/1991
Club: Wolfsburg

Germany's most prominent female footballer and captain, yet the question of where she will actually play once again hangs over the player and the team as they land in Australia. She started the Euros on the bench, but after Lea Schüller tested positive for corona after the first game she played up front and scored in every game until the final, when she got injured in the warm-up and missed out. 

She has had a pleasingly injury-free season. “When the body works, it's often the case with me that the rest works too,” she says. Won the Frauen-Bundesliga Golden Boot this season, as well as a 12th cup, but lost a fourth Champions League final since 2016. Still waiting for her first trophy with Germany. Her autobiography comes out in September, titled “Then I'll show you on the pitch.”


Lea Schüller

Date of birth: 12/11/1997
Club: FC Bayern Munich

An all-round player and Germany's female footballer of the year 2022, Schüller became the first professional female footballer on the cover of German vogue. In the interview she spoke openly about suffering from endometriosis. “It is an illness that sucks,” she said, adding that when the pain comes, “you don’t think about training and especially not playing games.” Scores so many goals that, in a reference to the former Germany striker Gerd Müller, people no longer just say “es müllert”, but also “es schüllert”. 

Scored at the first game of Euro 2022 but then tested positive for covid and lost her place to Alexandra Popp. Growing up as a Dortmund fan she had a poster on the wall saying “I would never join FC Bayern” but you never know what is going to happen in life and she now has 66 goals in 99 games for the Bavarian club.

Tabea Sellner

Date of birth: 25/08/1996
Club: VfL Wolfsburg

One of the quickest forwards in the Bundesliga, she has one of the most powerful shots in the league too. Has not had the easiest of seasons at Wolfsburg, though, starting only 11 Bundesliga games, scoring six goals. 

Started out playing with her mum as a coach, she soon joined Hoffenheim and stayed there for 12 years before the switch to Wolfsburg in 2021. Sellner has a master’s in psychology and she is currently working on her PhD (topic: rehabilitation measures for stroke patients) and to relax she likes to watch the German-Austrian TV series Der Bergdoktor. More known as Tabea Waßmuth perhaps, the forward got married in June and will have Sellner on her back in Australia and New Zealand.

Laura Freigang

Date of birth: 01/02/1998
Club: Eintracht Frankfurt

Has what it takes to become a German Megan Rapinoe. Open, cool, self-confident: Freigang, more than anyone else perhaps, is a poster girl for the next generation of German female footballers. Committed to fighting exclusion and homophobia in football, she has read out hate comments against women's football on her TikTok channel and made fun of male footballers' Gucci handbags. 

She became interested in sports politics in the USA, where she studied and played for Penn State University. Supports the club she has been playing for since 2018, Eintracht Frankfurt, and responded to rumours she may be leaving by tattooing “069”, the city’s area code, onto her right upper arm. Often used as a sub for Germany, many fans would like her to have a more prominent role.

Nicole Anyomi

Date of birth: 10/02/2000
Club: Eintracht Frankfurt

The winger’s speed is unmatched in the Germany squad - and most other squads at the World Cup too. There had been talks about the Frankfurt player replacing Giulia Gwinn at right back for the national team but the coach, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, called it off, saying that Anyomi is better off focusing on her attacking play: “She is an asset for us. 

She has so much speed and can really hurt opponents that way.” Has spoken openly about the racism she has experienced in Germany and took the knee after scoring for Essen as a sign of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. “We have to be active and raise our voice and speak out,” she said. “If something happens you can't just stand by, look on and say nothing,” she told Deutsche Welle in 2020.

Svenja Huth

Date of birth: 25/01/1991
Club: Wolfsburg

It is fair to say that the forward belongs to a slightly different generation than some of her teammates, who had not started school when Huth made her Bundesliga debut in 2007. 

The German legend Birgit Prinz scored a hat-trick in that match. That is not to say that Huth is past it, far from it, and in many aspects she has just got better and better. Has won everything there is to win in the world of football … apart from the World Cup.

Written by Nico Horn (Die Zeit) for the Guardian.