Saskia Bartusiak, Annike Krahn and Melanie Behringer all announced their international retirements last week after leading Germany to its first Olympic gold medal in women’s soccer.
The decisions leave new Germany coach Steffi Jones with holes to fill right up the spine of the team. Bartusiak, the 33-year-old captain, started a center back alongside Krahn. Behringer was a force in the midfield and one of the team’s best players at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
“I think that now is the right time for me, and I look with pride and joy back on my career,” Bartusiak said, calling an Olympic gold medal the “perfect” ending. “It was an incredible time in the national team; it has always meant a great deal.”
Bartusiak appeared 101 times for Germany. The 31-year-old Krahn has 137 caps, while Behringer amassed 123 caps. All three players were part of Germany’s 2007 World Cup-winning team. Bartusiak debuted in 2007, while Behringer and Krahn each made their international debuts in the same match on Jan. 28, 2005 against Australia at the Four Nations tournament in China.
“Melanie Behringer has impressively demonstrated at the Olympics what she is capable of,” Neid said. “For me she is the player of the tournament. She had a huge role in ensuring that we have won the gold medal. Mel has even in difficult times proved a true team player and always placed at the service of the team. They never gave up with setbacks and fought back impressively again. Both I wish all the best for the future. ”
Bartusiak (1. FFC Frankfurt), Krahn (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) and Behringer (Bayern Munich) will their club careers in the Frauen-Bundesliga.
Jones takes over for Neid in a coaching move which was announced some 18 months ahead of time. Neid was in charge since 2005, guiding the team to a World Cup title, an Olympic gold medal and two European crowns.
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