A beguiling blend of reticence and bonhomie makes Dzsenifer Marozsan a truly appealing character away from the field of play. However, once she takes to the pitch, the Germany starlet becomes a bristling, mesmerising and at times unplayable threat to her opponents. When the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2010 in Germany kicks off on 13 July, it will provide the biggest stage yet for this glittering jewel in the host nation’s crown.
"I’m really honoured when people say positive things about me, but I’m basically only trying to play my part in a successful tournament for us in front of our home crowd,” the FFC Frankfurt playmaker, who is still just 17 years of age, told FIFA.com. "We can go a long way with the squad we have, and we’re all totally looking forward to the U-20 World Cup. There’s not long to go now, but I wish it could start straight away!"
By any standards. Marozsan is something of a phenomenon. Born in Hungarian capital Budapest, she and her parents moved to Germany in 1996, because her father – capped four times by Hungary – signed for FC Saarbruecken. Ultimately, it was daughter Dzsenifer rather than dad Janos who was destined to make waves on behalf of the long-established Saarland club.
A natural goalscorer from her earliest days on the football field, she followed in her father’s footsteps with alacrity and success. She made her debut for the senior team in 2007, becoming not only the youngest Women’s Bundesliga player of all time, but also the youngest scorer in the German top flight. It was not long before the scouts from mighty Frankfurt came calling. "I consider myself creative and technically strong, and I read the game well. But I’m a quiet person at heart and just try and enjoy myself,” Marozsan herself confesses.
Mixed feelings about New Zealand
Success appears to come automatically for Germany’s new women’s wunderkind: she simply needs to be sent out to play. It happened at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2008 in New Zealand, where her breathtaking pace and trickery left opponents trailing in her wake, and she constantly propelled her team forwards with surging runs. "We were unlucky to lose 2-1 to the USA in the semi-finals,” the Germany number 10 recalls, “but it’ll be different next time. I hope we make it to the final!"
Nevertheless, Marozsan’s inventive play and superb finishing in New Zealand played a significant role in awakening worldwide interest in this new FIFA tournament, and ensuring the inaugural event was a resounding success. Her six-goal haul earned her the adidas Golden Shoe as leading scorer, and she was also named second-best player at the tournament behind Mana Iwabuchi of Japan.
The US are again likely to prove the team to beat for Marozsan and Co at the U-20 showdown on their home patch. The north Americans go into the eagerly-awaited tournament this coming summer as holders, after beating the Germans 1-0 at the semi-final stage in Chile two years ago, and overcoming then defending champions Korea DPR 2-1 in the final.
"We have the advantage of playing in front of our own fans. I’m sure people will turn out in numbers to support us. It’s going to be fantastic!" Marozsan’s bubbling enthusiasm in advance of the clashes in Augsburg, Bochum, Dresden and Bielefeld, the venue for the final on 1 August, is nothing short of infectious. It is also a real pleasure watching her play football, this talented youngster who surely boasts the potential to become a great of the women’s game.