One of the most recognisable and reliable players in the German Women’s National Team, Melanie Behringer has already earned over 100 caps in her international career so far for the number one ranked team in the world.
At club level, Melanie plays for the German Allianz Frauen-Bundesliga club FC Bayern Munich who are currently second in the league, just behind VfL Wolfsburg.
The tenacious midfielder spoke to Women’s Soccer United about her personal targets, Germany’s preparations for the World Cup and the strong opposition they will face at this year’s Algarve Cup which kicks off next week.
Women’s Soccer United: How are preparations going for Germany in the build up to the Algarve Cup and the FIFA Women’s World Cup?
Melanie Behringer: The preparations are going well. We had our first camp with the team two weeks ago and we could practice very well. So we got information about our current level and we evaluated what we have to improve until the tournament. We are happy to play at the Algarve Cup against the world’s top teams like Sweden or Brazil.
WSU: What targets have you as an individual and the Germany WNT squad set yourselves?
Melanie Behringer: Our target is to play a good Algarve Cup and of course a very good World Cup. We want to practice hard for the World Cup, so the Algarve Cup is a good test for the big tournament. My own target is to stay healthy and reach a high level for the World Cup. I want to help our team and of course I want to become World Champion again.
WSU: How does it feel to be a member of the number one ranked team in the world, what makes Germany so successful in terms of developing women’s football at club and national level?
Melanie Behringer: I am very happy and proud to be a member of the German team. We are successful because we have lots of very good individual players and a very good team spirit. We have a nice mix of young and experienced players. But the support of our Bundesliga clubs is also important. I think the National Team and the clubs are co-operating very well. Otherwise we would not have such a success with the National Team.
WSU: Can Germany successfully defend their Algarve Cup title against the strong opposition competing in this year’s edition?
Melanie Behringer: Our first target is to improve our game and test some different things. The Algarve Cup is a very good tournament to test on a high level. I’m very happy that we have the opportunity to play against those strong teams.
WSU: What are your thoughts on your Algarve Cup Group A opponents Brazil, China and Sweden?
Melanie Behringer: It is definitely not an easy group. But these games are important for us to improve. I’m looking forward to the matches. I like to play against Sweden, China and Brazil because every team has another style of playing football and that is a very good test for us.
WSU: What does representing your country mean to you?
Melanie Behringer: I am very happy to play for my country. It makes me proud. I know that I represent my country in the world so I have a responsibility.
WSU: What teams do you see as favourites for the World Cup title?
Melanie Behringer: I think there are a lot of teams who can win the World Cup title. Brasil, Sweden, France, USA an our team as well.
WSU: Who is the toughest opponent you have played against in your career so far?
Melanie Behringer: That is an interesting question. I really don’t know it, sorry.
WSU: Finally, what is the best thing about competing in the Algarve Cup?
Melanie Behringer: You can compete against strong teams. You can see what you have to improve for yourself and the team. The coaches can test many players on different positions or can variegate the tactics. So it is a very important “test tournament” before the World Cup.
The WSU Team bringing you news and updates from the world of women’s football.