ÜOverwhelmed by her happiness, Almuth Schult shed tears of emotion after her comeback in the DFB jersey. “I’m emotionally roiled because it’s been a very, very long time and a very long fight to get an international cap again. Many were not even aware that it was 1165 days, including me,” said the goalkeeper of the German soccer team after the 8-0 (3-0) win against Bulgaria at the end of the successful World Cup qualification.
Before the game in Plovdiv, the long-time goalkeeper was last between the posts of the German national team on June 29, 2019 in the 2-1 defeat in the quarter-finals of the World Cup against Sweden. Schult became pregnant soon after, and in April 2020, she became the mother of twins.
The return to the pitch was more difficult than she might have expected. Especially since there were some setbacks in the form of injuries. “As a young player you struggle to make your debut. At some point you fight for a different status. And at some point you’re a mom and you feel like you have to fight for everything again,” said Schult.
“It was a statement”
At the exciting European Championships in England a few weeks ago, she was only number two behind Merle Frohms and was not used. The experienced goalkeeper, who was in the DFB squad at the home World Cup in 2011, did not complain. The comeback after more than three years against Bulgaria was therefore also a sign of thanks and thanks from national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, who appreciates Schult very much.
“It was a statement from our side to Almuth. Anyone who knows Almuth knows that she contributes a large part of her emotionality to the team. After such a long time, it was a very, very special moment for her. So it’s completely normal for emotions to come through after the final whistle,” said Voss-Tecklenburg. “A lot has fallen off her now.”
Although Schult was hardly challenged in the one-sided game, the evening was a highlight for her. “An international match is worth a lot,” emphasized the long-time goalkeeper at VfL Wolfsburg. The 31-year-old was asked whether she was now considering further opportunities to play in the DFB selection and participate in the 2023 World Cup. “I don’t assume anything, I’ve learned that. Football life is very short lived. Something can always come up. You have to stay healthy and perform at the club. I don’t know what’s coming. I don’t plan anything at all,” Schult replied.
After all, the national coach has already signaled that she will continue to plan with Schult. In which role, however, is open. “We said we wanted to play a few more games before the World Cup and be able to see our goalkeepers against better opponents. Almuth is part of it,” emphasized Voss-Tecklenburg. The next international match is on October 7th in Dresden against France.
Schult and her family are going to Los Angeles first. She wants to fight for a regular place at her new club Angel City FC, where she has only been on the bench since moving after the European Championship. Despite the difficult start overseas, Schult is looking forward to the task. “It’s a completely different kind of football culture, a different way of looking at football,” she said. “That’s why I really enjoy seeing and experiencing something new and taking these important experiences with me.”