Germany announce 2024 Olympic squad ahead of a tricky group stage

Shirts of the German team before the Women's European Qualifier match between Poland and Germany
Shirts of the German team before the Women's European Qualifier match between Poland and Germany on June 4, 2024 in Gdynia, Poland.(Photo by Mateusz Slodkowski/Getty Images)

With their first match in Paris right around the corner, Germany have announced their 18-player Olympic squad. Under new interim head coach Horst Hrubesch, the DFB-Frauen are hungry to overcome their woeful group stage exit at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. 

With three consecutive bronze medals (2000, 2004 and 2008), and a gold in the 2016 Olympics, Germany will be determined to relive their successful past. So, will Hrubesch’s talented side have what it takes to make it all the way? 

Germany Olympic squad news 

Goalkeepers: Ann-Katrin Berger, Merle Frohms

Defenders: Sara Doorsoun, Giulia Gwinn, Marina Hegering, Kathrin Hendrich, Sarai Linder, Bibiane Schulze Solano

Midfielders: Jule Brand, Klara Bühl, Vivien Endemann, Laura Freigang, Sydney Lohmann

Forwards: Sjoeke Nüsken, Lena Oberdorf, Alexandra Popp, Lea Schüller, Elisa Senß

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With only 12 nations competing at the 2024 Paris Olympics, the Germans have been faced with a tough group stage. Australia, USA and Zambia all await in Group B. It will certainly be a challenging schedule for these accomplished sides.

Following the squad announcement, here are the dates of Germany’s opening three fixtures. The results will determine whether the DFB-Frauen will have done enough to secure themselves a place in the knockout stages of the tournament.  

  • Germany vs Australia: Thursday, 25th July, 19:00 (Marseille Stadium)
  • Germany vs USA: Saturday, 28th July, 21:00 (Marseille Princes)
  • Germany vs Zambia: Wednesday, 31st July, 19:00 (Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium)

Under new head coach Emma Hayes, the USA as four-time Olympic champions will be looking to add to their silverware collection. Australia, on the other hand, are yet to place on the podium in the Olympics. Therefore, the Matildas will be eager to perform at a high level, especially for their growing fanbase back home. Germany’s final opposition, Zambia, only qualified for their first tournament at the 2020 Games — they cannot be underestimated on the world stage. 

However, Hrubesch’s squad is balanced well between Olympic winning, experienced players and those participating in their first ever Games. With two World Cup titles and eight European Championships to their name, Germany will certainly be a heavyweight side to fear.

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Young players to watch 

At the age of only 22, Lena Oberdorf plays a pivotal role in Germany’s success in major tournaments. The Bayern Munich midfielder has recently impressed both for her club and country. To give an example, the DFB-Frauen reached the final of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 and Oberdorf made headlines with her standout performances. In fact, she won the Young Player of the Tournament award. She has great potential and will boost Germany’s hopes of progressing through a tough group stage in Paris. 

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Another young talent to look out for is Sjoeke Nüsken. In 2023, the German joined Chelsea and has showcased her strength and ability to dominate the midfield. Winning the Women’s Super League with the Blues last season gave Nüsken a taste of glory, which she believes she can take with her to the Olympics this summer.

Being the only player in Hrubesch’s side who plays in the English football league gives her a different experience to others. Her versatility — being able to play in both midfield and defence — makes her an easy choice for the German national team. With several goals and assists to her name in her first season in the WSL, the German international will be determined to make her mark on the international stage against some difficult rivals. 

International stars 

While there are so many young stars, the experienced players within the squad must not be forgotten. For example, Marina Hegering is one of the oldest members of the squad. The VfL Wolfsburg defender has been a regular member of the German side since 2019. Her experience in the back line allows her to set an example to the newer defenders alongside her. In 2007, her career as a professional footballer began. Since, she has proved herself worthy of a spot in the international team. Players like Hegering are vital to ensure there is a depth in the squad, supported by both experienced and debuting footballers. 

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Another international star to look out for in the tournament is the goalkeeper, Ann-Katrin Berger. At the age of 33, Berger has spent her footballing career at several prestigious clubs: Paris Saint-Germain, Turbine Potsdam, and Chelsea, to name a few. In April, she decided it was time for a change.

Having spent over five years in London and reaching a remarkable 106 appearances for the club, Berger announced she was leaving Chelsea. Shortly after, she signed for Gotham FC in National Women’s Soccer League. With yet another senior call-up for her nation, she will be keen to perform highly under a new manager, as her retirement from professional football may be on the horizon. 

Last but not least, the importance of the captain during a competitive tournament cannot be underestimated. For Germany, choosing the player to lead the Olympic squad was an easy choice — Alexandra Popp. Having played the role of skipper for about half a decade now, Popp is a calm and collected team player who always leads by example. Since her senior international debut, the striker has scored 67 goals. She will undoubtedly be looking to add to this tally in Paris. Therefore, Popp will be indispensable for Germany in the build-up to the Olympic Games 2024. She inspires and pushes her teammates to achieve their full potential and progress past the group stages. 

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