Jan
19
2008
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High-Flyer Nadine Angerer

Last September, Germany reigned supreme at the FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007. One of the keys to Germany’s success was Nadine Angerer – a brilliant goalkeeper with a vibrant personality.

As the only girl in a team full of boys at ASV Hofstetten in lower Franconia, Bavaria, Angerer soon learnt to fend for herself and ultimately battled her way through to the regional team. One day, when the first-choice keeper was unavailable, the coach asked Nadine to stand in. From that moment on, the goal became her permanent position, not only for her club but also in the Bavarian state team. Following stints with Nuremberg and Wacker Munich, followed by a whiff of Bundesliga air with Bayern Munich, for the past six years she has been rubbing shoulders with Europe’s elite at Turbine Potsdam and pocketing national titles as well as the UEFA Cup. Her international star has been rising at breakneck speed in tandem with her club career. Angerer had made her debut against the Netherlands back in 1996 at the tender age of 18 but it took 11 years and 47 internationals before she became the team’s number one goalie. All that time, the experienced and outstanding Silke Rottenberg had been blocking her way to the top.
Angerer was always around – but only as a substitute. She became world champion in 2003 and witnessed European championships and Olympic Football Tournaments from the bench. But Angerer never complained — at least not in public. She is the type of person who always delivers top-class performances and is ready to step into the breach whenever called upon to do so. She lives and breathes team spirit, otherwise she would never have put up with playing second fiddle for so long.
German national coach Silvia Neid and her predecessor, Tina Theune-Meyer, admire these qualities in her. Angerer just kept training harder and harder in an effort to emerge from Rottenberg’s shadow.
In January 2007, opportunity knocked when Rottenberg injured her knee during the Four Nations Tournament in China. Angerer took over and, exuding the same self-assurance, managed to boost her defence, not to mention the entire team. Angerer had finally made it. Now the undisputed number one in the German goal, she was positively bursting with confidence when she returned to China for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in September, where she produced one impeccable performance after another. Angerer’s breathtaking saves in Germany’s 3-0 quarter-final defeat of DPR Korea and their 3-0 semi-final victory over of Norway shook her opponents to the core. Not one goal slipped through her fingers in the final against Brazil either. She even thwarted a penalty from Marta, the tournament’s best player and top goalscorer, no less. World champions Germany contested six matches in China without conceding a single goal — also thanks to Angerer.