Frauen Bundesliga: Who To Watch
“Germany is through to the Euro finals!” is not a phrase many expected to be said this summer. While Germany has won the most Euros many didn’t think it was in the cards for them this year, Germany proved everyone wrong by making it to the finals uniting a nation of football lovers behind them. But what happens to this newfound support of German women’s football now that the Euros are over?
The hope is that this translates over to the Frauen Bundesliga starting this Friday with Bayern vs Frankfurt, but that is unlikely. With the league so inaccessible to watch it will halt some of the momentum started during the Euros. Magenta Sport currently has the rights to the Frauen Bundesliga but it’s a rather expensive platform with not many other things people would be willing to pay for and it’s only available to Germans. The only other place that streams Frauen Bundesliga games is Atafootball which is only available in select countries and is also a pay-to-watch platform. The DFB should be capitalizing on this momentum and support to leverage a better media deal much like how Spain did to get DAZN to buy the rights to the Liga F. But for those who want to learn and follow the league despite its inaccessibility, hopefully, this preview helps to learn a bit about who to watch out for on every team.
Bayer Leverkusen: Juliane Wirtz
Photo: Juliwirtz on Instagram
While Wirtz might be the sister to very well-known Florian Wirtz, who plays for Leverkusen’s men’s team, that is not what is important. Wirtz played 20 of Leverkusen’s 21 games and started all but 1 of them. She was only subbed off twice as well. This is all while being only 20. She might be young, but she’s an inaugural piece to Leverkusen, whether left-back or midfield.
Bayern München: Maxi Rall
Photo: FCBfrauen on Twitter
Last season Rall scored 10 goals most of them coming from the right-back position. That was the second most out of anyone at the club. She was even in contention for the golden boot for much of the first half of the season. With the loss of Hanna Glas, it will be interesting to see if Rall is given the chance to shine. Having just missed out on the Germany Euros squad, Rall will have some proving to do so keep an eye out on her as she could do great things.
Eintracht Frankfurt: Barbara Dunst
Photo: EintrachtFrauen on twitter
Barbara Dunst was one of the best players in the Frauen Bundesliga last season yet her name still goes widely unknown. A midfielder who creates chances, wins back possession, and is known to hit the occasional screamer now and then. At only 24 she’s already been capped by Austria 61 times. During the Euros, she was named player of the match in Austria’s 2-0 win over Northern Ireland. She’s the perfect addition to Frankfurt’s midfield bringing style and flair to their game. Dunst will continue to be an exciting player to watch and will hopefully get some of the recognition she deserves this season.
SC Freiburg: Judith Steinert
Photo: j.steinert19 on Instagram
A new player for Freiburg this season is Judith Steinert. Came up through the Hoffenheim academy, which has produced many talented players, and eventually made it to the first team. She was mostly used as a super sub in defense but did start a good number of games for the team. With the departure of Rebecca Knaak to FC Rosengard Steinert will for sure get lots of minutes with this Freiburg team. Hopefully, she can use this chance to show the league what she’s really made of and cement herself as one of the more solid defenders.
TSG Hoffenheim: Paulina Krumbeigel
Photo: paulina.kk_17 on Instagram
In 2021 Paulina Krumbeigel was one of the most talked about players in the Frauen Bundesliga. She was widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the league earning her first national team call-ups. Everyone was so excited to see what she could bring only for her to tear her ACL. She had to miss out on Hoffenheim’s exciting run through the Champions League, which she had played such a huge part in them qualifying. If Krumbeigel returns to her previous form Hoffenheim will have a very great defender on their hands.
FC Köln: Sarah Puntigam
Photo: fckoeln_en on twitter
Sarah Puntigam is a new addition to FC Köln this season. She has previously played in the Bundesliga at Bayern and Freiburg but most recently played for Montpellier. She has a very impressive resume as Austria's most capped player at only 29. She will bring great experience to this team and be a great addition to hold things down in their midfield. She played every game for Austria during the Euros and had two assists. Köln are a team to watch out for and Puntigam only makes them scarier
MSV Duisburg: Yvonne Zielinski
Photo: MSVDuisburg on twitter
Zielinski is a seasoned veteran. She’s been playing first team Frauen Bundesliga football since 2009. She will provide the leadership needed for a very young Duisburg team as their captain. Usually playing as an attacking midfielder it will be interesting to see how Zielinski uses her knowledge to control the midfielder. For Duisburg, it’s going to be crucial when it comes to winning those smaller games or it might even all come down to goal difference. Zielinski will be instrumental in making sure they don’t go back down.
SV Meppen: Anna Margraf
Photo: svmeppen1912 on twitter
It’s not too often that Australians make their way to the Frauen Bundesliga but Margraf seems like she will be a great fit at Meppen. Having played many seasons in the A-League Women for the Brisbane Roar, at only 21 Margraf has a lot of experience already. She usually plays in the midfield or on the left wing. She’s taking a big step and it hopefully pays off. A bright future is ahead and she could do great things this season.
SGS Essen: Sophia Winkler
Photo: sophiawnklr on Instagram
Germany is known for producing great goalkeepers and Sofia Winkler is another one of them. Another very promising goalkeeper talent, she took over at Essen last season as their number 1 quickly proving she deserves it. The battle at the bottom of the table usually comes down to goal difference so having a top goalkeeper is crucial to staying up. Last season she was able to keep 3 clean sheets and only allowed in 25 goals which could have largely been the difference in keeping Essen up last season. She was the starting goalkeeper for Germany at the U-19 Euros as well.
1.FFC Turbine Potsdam: Amber Barrett
Photo: amberbarrett9 on Instagram
Turbine Potsdam has a huge Cerci-shaped hole to fill. With Cerci moving to Köln, Potsdam decided to sign Köln forward at the time Amber Barrett. While she’s no Cerci that doesn’t mean she couldn’t be. She has lots of experience and has played many international matches for Ireland. She had 10 goals in 20/21 to gain Köln promotion to the first Bundesliga. While last year she didn’t get too much playing time, this could be her time to shine since Potsdam had a huge turnover and lost most of their regular squad.
Werder Bremen: Anneke Borbe
Photo: werderfrauen on twitter
The most important piece to Werder Bremen last season was Borbe. She was able to keep 7 clean sheets for Bremen despite them coming in 9th. If it wasn’t for her in those lower table battles it’s likely Bremen wouldn’t have stayed up. It’s likely they will be involved in that bottom-of-the-table battle again so she’s going to be crucial again. She’s another young goalkeeper that has played for Germany at many youth levels and should continue to shine at Bremen maybe eventually earning her a senior call-up.
VFL Wolfsburg: Sveindís Jónsdóttir
Photo: VFL_Frauen on twitter
Joining Wolfsburg in the winter Jónsdóttir quickly made her mark but many still don’t know her name. A prolific goalscorer who can outpace almost any defender, she scored 3 goals and had 3 assists in only 8 appearances for Wolfsburg last season. She’s one of the best up-and-coming forwards in the game. This season she might not get as much playing time as the previous season since Pajor is back but she will still be crucial to Wolfsburg who can utilize her pace late in the game to score those last-minute goals.