The term ‘on the fast track to success’ can be something of a cliché and applied too readily. In the case of Pauline Bremer, however, the description could hardly be more fitting.
In 2014 the German prodigy won the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup before featuring at the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in Canada a year later. From North America, Bremer’s burgeoning career then took her to France and Olympique Lyonnais. In September 2015, she marked her first start for Germany with a hat-trick against Hungary, before opening her account for her new club not long afterwards. This year could yet present her with two more career highlights: a call-up to the Germany squad for the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in Rio de Janeiro in August, and a playing part at a second U-20 World Cup in November.
“I really hope I’m involved at the Olympics,” she told FIFA.com in an exclusive interview. “I’ve spoken to a few of the French players and they’ve told me that in terms of the feeling you get, the Olympics and all the different sports there are, it's something really special. If you go to the Olympic Village and meet other athletes, it’s just an amazing thing. It’s an adventure for any sportsman or woman.“ Bremer even admits she would prefer a gold medal in Rio to another U-20 World Cup title, and she is determined to make her dream come true. “I’ll give it my absolute all.”
At club level, the 19-year-old’s personal adventure at Lyon is progressing well, Bremer having made the move immediately after completing secondary school. And though one of Germany’s biggest talents has had to contend with injuries – which also meant she missed out on playing at the recent SheBelieves Cup – she feels at home in south-east France.
“My impression of the place so far has been completely positive,” she said. “I’ve settled in well and I’m having no problems with the language as I took French for quite a few years at school. With the star names in this team and playing at the level they do, you get better with every training session.”
The world is her oyster
Playing elsewhere in the future is a possibility – “I could see myself going back to Germany at some point, because the Bundesliga is one of the strongest leagues in world, although the USA is also an attractive option. I’m open to anything” – but for now, the switch to France appears to have worked out just fine.
Indeed, Germany women’s head coach Silvia Neid is one mentor who has been more than satisfied with Bremer’s choice. “She’s taken the next step forward there, especially in terms of her technique,” believes the 2013 FIFA Women’s World Coach of the Year.
From a young age, Ossenfeld-born Bremer’s entire life has revolved around football. Signing for 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam – one of Germany most successful women’s clubs – in 2012, she found herself making her Bundesliga debut within a matter of months. She also took part in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan that year, having represented Germany at every youth level before and since.
She has a soft spot for SV Werder Bremen and lists FIFA World Cup™ winner Toni Kroos of Real Madrid as someone she enjoys watching play, but there is more to her life than just football: “I like philosophising about people and life in general.”
Nevertheless, Bremer’s primary focus remains on the game and the world is her oyster at present, with the Olympics to come this year, as well as the opportunity of defending Germany’s title at the U-20 World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016. “It will be really exciting. I want to see as much as I can of the world and Papua New Guinea is somewhere I’m yet to visit. It would be really interesting. Obviously it’s an advantage that I’ve already been to a World Cup. I’ve played a few tournaments at youth level now and you learn something new with every one. My personality can help me be a leader for the players that don’t have that much experience. If you’re going into the tournament as the champion, you want to defend your title. It’s tough at youth level because teams and personnel are always changing, but we’re Germany and we’ll always have a chance. We’re the favourites and we want to be world champions.”
If she can fulfil all of her ambitions in the remaining months of the year, then even ‘being on the fast track to success’ may not be an adequate reflection of Bremer’s already glittering career. However, as well she knows, she has a long way to go before 2016 is complete.