06/11/2020

Dzsenifer Marozsán and Ann-Katrin Berger

Exclusive double interview with the ambassadors of German football

Ann-Katrin Berger - Dzsenifer Marozsán

Berlin, 11.06.2020

Dzsenifer Marozsán (Olympique Lyon) and Ann-Katrin Berger (Chelsea FCW) won the championship with their clubs and are exemplary ambassadors of German football; it is no coincidence that both players were nominated for the German Football Ambassador Public Award 2020, where they achieved an excellent 2nd and 5th place respectively. Not only do they play very successfully abroad, they are also regarded as role models in many ways off the pitch. Both were confronted with health problems in the past years and found themselves in a situation where a career could have been over very quickly. In an exclusive double interview for the German Football Ambassador, they talk openly about Corona, values & their life abroad.


German Football Ambassador:

Ms Berger, Ms Marozsán, the subject of Corona has become a constant companion and restricts the whole world, not just sport - how are you doing and how have you personally dealt with the past few weeks?

 

Dzsenifer Marozsán:

Healthwise, my family and I are doing well at the moment and I think that is the most important thing right now. Even though I really miss football. It is a bit frightening how the Corona virus restricts our world. I never thought it would break out so massively and change the whole world.

 

Ann-Katrin Berger:

Personally, I have tried to make the best of it. I tried to keep myself in shape as best I could with the program I got from my club. I also tried to keep my family fit by preparing and running a fitness program for them every day through WhatsApp.

Of course, I have been researching the virus, but I have to admit that I do not want to know or read too much about it, because it really depresses me.

 

 

 

German Football Ambassador:

Do your illnesses relating to Corona play a role in your daily life?

 

Dzsenifer Marozsán:

In the beginning I was worried that I could be a risk person, but now I am a bit more relaxed because I have had a complete check-up. As a result of the examination I was told that everything looks super healthy. I am handling the virus very conscientiously and follow all medical instructions.

 

Ann-Katrin Berger:

Personally, I have to be very careful when I go shopping or to the pharmacy, but I got used to it very quickly that I wash my hands and disinfect them as soon as I come into the house. When I am outside, I of course always follow the rules, whether it is jogging or shopping.

 

 

 

German Football Ambassador:

What precautions / security measures, if any, have been taken by your clubs?

 

Dzsenifer Marozsán:

We have been in quarantine since March 17th and have not been allowed to enter the training grounds until today. This means that my club follows the government's guidelines and it was forbidden to continue the team sports in France. We have contact with our team doctor every day. We give him our body temperature every day. We also receive a training plan every week, which we have to follow individually from home. The situation is not easy as our league has already been cancelled. However, there are still no concrete decisions regarding the Champions League and the national cup competition. For this reason, we have to keep fit. Our whole team has of course already done a Corona test. The club is doing everything to ensure that we players are in good health. Olympique Lyon takes no risks.

 

Ann-Katrin Berger:

Unfortunately, we are all still at home and are still not allowed to train. But at the beginning of the lockdown we received training equipment from the club so that we can continue to train as professionally as possible.

 

 

 

German Football Ambassador:

Do you believe that the current situation will lead to a fundamental rethink in football?

 

Dzsenifer Marozsán:

Not only especially in football. In my opinion there will be a complete rethinking in the world due to the current situation. I think there will certainly be some changes and what is happening today will perhaps become a bit of normality. To give you an example, I can well imagine that it will be part of normality to wear a mask, for example.

 

Ann-Katrin Berger:

I think so, because we simply don't know how long the virus will last and if it will affect next season. But I think in general it will also affect every other sport.

 

 

 

German Football Ambassador:

As national teammates, do you exchange more information with each other in the current times?

 

Dzsenifer Marozsán:

Of course, you have contact to your teammates. But we all feel the same. We all miss football, but we all agree that health is the most important thing.

 

Ann-Katrin Berger:

We recently had a video conference with all the female players of the national team, and it was interesting to hear how things are going in the respective clubs and leagues.

 

 

 

German Football Ambassador:

Due to the personal cuts in your (athlete's) life caused by your personal diseases, do you see some things differently than before?


Dzsenifer Marozsán:

I appreciate being healthy much more and I am grateful every day when I can stand on the pitch.

 

Ann-Katrin Berger:

The only thing I can say is that I no longer take my health for granted. Since my illness, at least that is my self-reflection, I am investing more in sports than ever before and I've noticed that I'm getting better than I ever was before. At that time, football became a minor matter due to my illness and I noticed that it took away a part of my life. I had to start at "0" again and completely rebuild everything.

 

 

 

German Football Ambassador:

What gave you the strength to overcome your illness and get back on the pitch so quickly?

 

Dzsenifer Marozsán:

My biggest fear was that the doctor told me that I shouldn't play soccer anymore. That was by far my biggest worry. But when he told me that I'd only be out for a few months and that he could bring me back into shape slowly, step by step, I knew from that moment on that I would do everything I could to get back on the pitch. Even if it was not easy and I needed a lot of patience. During this time my family and my closest friends were there for me and gave me the strength I needed when I was in doubt. I am very, very grateful to be surrounded by such wonderful people.

 

Ann-Katrin Berger:

Of course, my family was a big factor in helping me to get well again, but football also helped me. I simply needed a goal. I put all my energy into getting back to what I loved all my life and two people in particular helped me to get back better than before. These were my team-mate Jess Carter and my goalkeeping coach at the time, Leanne Hall. Both of them were there for every doctor's appointment, no matter whether it was a small or large appointment. They were always there and helped me. Above all, it was invaluable to have both of them present at the doctor's appointments, because it was important to have someone you trust around you who understood 100% of the medical language. This meant that I could not feel insecure right from the start. 

 

 

 

German Football Ambassador:

You both went abroad early in your career. What made you decide to go abroad at the age of 23 or 24?

 

Dzsenifer Marozsán:

I started in the German Bundesliga very young. So it was time for me to try something new. Even though I am a person who is very close to the family, I wanted to take on a new challenge. And that was the reason for me to move abroad.

 

Ann-Katrin Berger:

I just wanted to learn as much as possible and also internationally and I thought it was like learning history in school. Every country has its own culture and that is the same in football. Every league has its own special features. Every club has its philosophy.

 

 

 

German Football Ambassador:

How do you see the development of women's football in France and England compared to the German league?

 

Dzsenifer Marozsán:

The comparison between France and Germany - in my opinion it is almost identical. Unfortunately, in both countries it is the case that only two, maximum three clubs dominate the league and after that there is a certain gap to the next clubs. I cannot really comment on the English league, because I haven't had any experience there so far and I don't have an intensive insight into the whole league. But when it comes to marketing, England is ahead of us in Germany, as well as the teams from France. In this respect, they have developed enormously in recent years and market women's football there very professionally.

 

Ann-Katrin Berger:

It has to be said that English football has developed very strongly in recent years. The teams are very strong in their own individuality, which makes the league very strong.

 

 

German Football Ambassador:

Would you advise more female players to move abroad to gain experience?

 

Dzsenifer Marozsán:

I do not want to lure female players away from Germany now. The German league is one of the best leagues in Europe. Nevertheless, I can only recommend that you make this experience abroad. It really helps you as a person. You get to know a new culture, language, and lifestyle.

 

Ann-Katrin Berger:

Absolutely, I would advise it to each and every one of you, if asked.

 

 

 

German Football Ambassador:

What other dreams would you like to realize in your career and personal life?

 

Dzsenifer Marozsán:

My biggest dream and wish is actually just to keep myself and my family healthy. From a sporting point of view, I hope to be able to play at the highest level for a long time to come and then, of course, to be successful.

 

Ann-Katrin Berger:

I want to make as many memories as possible, that means winning as many titles as possible.  In addition, I want to develop myself every day to become better. But we'll see what the future brings.

 

 

 

German Football Ambassador:

As an ambassador of German football abroad, you represent the values and attitude of (football) Germany - both in the national team and in your clubs.  Do you see yourself as having a special responsibility in this?

 

Dzsenifer Marozsán:

No, I do not see myself as having any special responsibility because of it. As a professional athlete that is part of it. I am the way I am, on and off the court. I cannot and don't want to change either.

 

Ann-Katrin Berger:

I see myself as an athlete who comes from Germany and tries to give her best abroad. Of course, I always have the claim to myself to be a role model for younger people. And now, as the nominated ambassador for German football, I am moving into a completely different light. But first I have to think about what this means for me and what effects it will have. 

 

 

 

German Football Ambassador:

All over the world, German players and coaches work for national teams, clubs, associations, or individual projects. Anja Zivkovic, for example, who is nominated as a coach for this year's German Football Ambassador Award 2020 and has already accompanied or managed projects in over 50 countries. Or the football icons Petra Landers (nominated 2019) and Monika Staab (German Football Ambassador 2014), both of whom are often active as coaches abroad.

Would it also be an option for you to work abroad after your career as a coach?

 

Dzsenifer Marozsán:

I cannot give any detailed information about my future after football at the moment. Of course, I would like to remain active on the pitch for a long time to come. I love the world of football very much and I can imagine working in football after my career. Whether I have the personality to work as a head coach, I doubt a little bit, because I am a very calm person. But I would not see it as impossible.

 

Ann-Katrin Berger:

I cannot say that yet. I am still very focused on my current task as an active athlete. But you never know what will develop. Things can change quickly and when it comes to a question like that, I live the attitude: "Never say never".

 

 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our interview partners Dzsenifer Marozsán and Ann-Katrin Berger for answering our questions and your Manager / Management Dietmar Ness, NESS & Network UG, for their outstanding support.