Germany’s women have only missed one previous edition of the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament. Silvia Neid’s side failed to qualify for London 2012 after making a shock quarter-final exit in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 on home soil. Die Nationalelf made their Olympic debut at the first edition of the competition held in Atlanta in 1996, but were eliminated after the group stage after beating Japan, losing to Norway and drawing with Brazil. Germany continued their quest for gold at Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 but instead collected a bronze on each occasion.
The road to Rio
Germany were assured of a place at next year’s Olympics even before their quarter-final encounter with France kicked off at the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in Canada. With England having already beaten European Championship runners-up Norway in the last 16, the Germans were already certain to be at the Games (as one of the continent's three best-placed teams in Canada) before they defeated Les Bleues on penalties. They successfully navigated their way to Rio by finishing the group stage ahead of Norway, Thailand and Côte d’Ivoire, before recording an emphatic 4-1 win over Sweden in the Round of 16.
51-year-old Silvia Neid has been at the helm of the national side since 2005 and has been integral to the success of Germany’s women, playing a part in each of their two World Cup and eight European titles as either a player, assistant coach or head coach. Capped 111 times for her country, Neid’s management skills have not gone unnoticed, and she was named FIFA Women’s Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2013. In September 2016 she will become head of the German Football Association (DFB)’s new women’s and girls’ football scouting department, with Steffi Jones set to take the reins of the senior team.
Celia Sasic, Dzsenifer Marozsan, Anja Mittag
1 – German international Bettina Wiegmann scored the first Olympic goal at the inaugural edition of the tournament in Atlanta in 1996. She found the target in the fifth minute of the match against Japan, an encounter Germany went on to win 3-2.