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Carolin Simon has been a bench at FC Bayern this season

Photo: Gawlik / Beautiful Sports / IMAGO

The German women's national football team will have to do without left-back Carolin Simon at the World Cup in Australia. The Bayern player tore her cruciate ligament in the last test match before the World Cup against Zambia (2:3), as the German Football Association announced.

"Carolin Simon's news hits us all. She had made an excellent development, showed great performances and more than earned her place in the World Championship. We have to accept the situation now," said national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg.

Simon provided twelve assists and scored two goals for Bayern last season, and has made 18 appearances for the national team so far. With Giulia Gwinn, who is also not yet fit again after a cruciate ligament rupture, another top player is already missing from the German defence.

Female footballers are more likely to suffer a cruciate ligament rupture

Cruciate ligament tears are becoming an increasingly common problem in women's football. Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands), English stars Beth Mead and Leah Williamson, France striker Marie-Antoinette Katoto, Janine Beckie (Canada) and Sweden's Hanna Glas will also not be able to take part in the World Cup for this reason. "I'm curious to see when the handbrake will be pulled. There are always new tournaments or new formats being added. We players can still handle it," Simon recently told SPIEGEL – just under two weeks before her own World Cup exit.

The increasing burden is a possible reason for the increased risk for female footballers. Physique also plays a role because, according to experts, women tend to have X-legged legs. In addition, the protective muscle mass is often lacking. The female cycle also has an influence on the susceptibility to injury. Studies assume that women are five to seven times more likely to rupture their cruciate ligament than men.

DFB squad confirmed

In addition to Simon, Voss-Tecklenburg also removed Sarai Linder, runner-up European champion Tabea Sellner and Ena Mahmutovic from her World Cup squad. Paulina Krumbiegel had already left injured. Voss-Tecklenburg nominated three goalkeepers and 20 outfield players. Janina will fly to the World Cup as a substitute, where the first match is against Morocco on 24 July.

"We opted for this squad because we are aware of the high level of competition in our squad. We will now use the time in Australia to prepare ourselves for our upcoming tasks in the best possible way," said Voss-Tecklenburg. VfL Wolfsburg has the strongest block with ten players.

The squad at a glance

Gate: Ann-Katrin Berger, Merle Frohms, Stina Johannes

Defence: Sara Doorsoun, Chantal Hagel, Marina Hegering, Kathrin Hendrich, Sophia Kleinherne, Sjoeke Nüsken, Felicitas Rauch

Midfield/Attack: Nicole Anyomi, Jule Brand, Klara Bühl, Sara Däbritz, Laura Freigang, Svenja Huth, Lena Lattwein, Melanie Leupolz, Sydney Lohmann, Lina Magull, Lena Oberdorf, Alexandra Popp, Lea Schüller