Huth: Winning the World Cup is a huge objective of mine

  • Germany captain Svenja Huth discusses Germany's form

  • Every team that plays against Germany is highly motivated”

  • Huth hails Dzsenifer Marozsan as a friend and player

Germany have enjoyed a perfect start to FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™ qualifying, taking six points from two games to sit top of Group H. “It’s been a good start, but with room for improvement,” said team captain Svenja Huth, who played in both wins. The team’s next opportunity to bolster their points tally arrives via a double-header against Israel on 21 and 26 October. We chatted to the Germany No9 about their role as favourites, managing expectations, maturing as a player and a very special friendship.

Fußball Frauen Länderspiel Frankreich - Deutschland am 10.06.2021 im Stade de la Meinau in Straßburg Svenja Huth  Deutschland  DFB regulations prohibit any use of photographs as image sequences and/or quasi-video. *** Womens international football match France Germany on 10 06 2021 at Stade de la Meinau in Strasbourg Svenja Huth Germany DFB regulations prohibit any use of photographs as image sequences and or quasi video xMNx You’ve had a strong start to Australia & New Zealand 2023 qualifying with a 7-0 win over Bulgaria and a 5-1 defeat of Serbia. How satisfied are you with the team’s form? Svenja Huth: We’ve had a decent start and moved the ball around really well at times. But in both matches we still had phases where we needed time to get into the games and show our quality on the pitch. In the coming weeks, and especially in the fixtures against Israel, we’ll need to be ready right from the off. So overall it’s been a good start, but with room for improvement. You mentioned the upcoming games, which will be the first time a Germany women’s national team has faced Israel in an international fixture. What are your expectations for the match? Your coach said that she wants to dominate from the start and pick up two more victories… We’ll have to be at the races from the very first second and use our body language, our build-up play and ability in the final third to show the opposition that the points are going to be ours. We’ve got the very clear objective of going into the games to earn six points. But we want to keep improving both as individuals and as a team. It’ll be important to go into them with the necessary freshness.

Germany are favourites ahead of kick-off and many observers will be expecting big wins. How do you deal with that? To be honest, that’s not something we really think about. Those of us who are intensively involved in these games know that they’re not a foregone conclusion. We saw that against Serbia. It always depends on how we get into the match and if we’re able to execute our game plan on the pitch. If we do that, the other team often doesn’t stand a chance. We’ll have to be at our best from the very first second. Every team that plays against Germany is highly motivated. They throw themselves into the tackles, sit back very deeply and it’s not always easy to find a way through them. This is your third Women’s World Cup qualifying campaign. What makes this team so special? We’ve got a good blend of young players and others who have participated in tournaments like the World Cup and European Championship qualifying. There’s a good mix of focus, concentration and that bit of fun you need. We’re a team that really enjoys playing football. We want to keep honing that in the next few weeks and months so that we keep having fun out on the pitch. You have developed into a leader as captain. When you think back to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2010, where do you think you have made most progress? I like thinking back to that time, it’s almost as if it was yesterday. There have been a few victories since then, but also some defeats. You can always learn a lot from both. I’ve had personal setbacks, such as when I tore my cruciate ligament in 2013. I came back stronger than before. That helped me to mature as a player and as a person. You observe and pick things up from your role models, but you also learn from your own experiences. My time in Potsdam from 2015 to 2019 was unbelievably valuable for me. I now know what it’s like to be a young player and to be an experienced veteran, and to be a first-team regular and a substitute. There’s a lot you can pass on to the younger players.

BIELEFELD, GERMANY - AUGUST 01: Svenja Huth (L) and Dzsenifer Marozsan (R) of Germany celebrate the 2010 FIFA Women's World Cup Final match between Germany and Nigeria at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup stadium August 01, 2010 in Bielefeld, Germany. (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Women’s World Cup qualifying doubles up as preparation for the UEFA EURO. You previously said that competition for places always increases before a tournament. Is that an advantage or disadvantage? Or does it just motivate you more? There’s always competition for places but it gets more intense as you get closer to a tournament. That’s important because everyone wants to show what they can do, be it in training or in a game. That keeps the quality high because everyone pushes themselves to the limit and does their absolute best. That’ll help us improve as a team in the coming weeks and months. France 2019 was undoubtedly special for you. What would it mean to you to participate at a second Women’s World Cup? It’s always special to be with the national team at a tournament. I haven’t won the World Cup with the senior team yet and that’s a huge objective of mine. We’ll do everything we can during qualification to have a great tournament in 2023. Final question: on YouTube there is a clip of you and your close friend Dzsenifer Marozsan. What characterises her as a person and as a player? Dszeni is really close to her family and is always willing to help. She’s helped me a lot – we’ve known each other half our lives already. She’s a great sounding board and is always there to lend an ear or offer advice. And on the pitch she’s got unbelievable technique, is composed on the ball and has a good eye for finding her team-mates. She’s also got a good shot, so she’s really important for us.