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Alexandra Popp is captain of the German national team

Photo: Sebastian Gollnow / dpa

German internationals Alexandra Popp, Lina Magull and Lea Schüller have criticised the conditions surrounding the German team at the World Cup in Australia. "In fact, I don't think we were optimally prepared," said Captain Popp in the ZDF documentary "Born for this." For the first time, players criticised the late nomination of the World Cup squad by the then national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg at the end of the two training camps in Herzogenaurach. "That also created a certain amount of resentment within the team," Popp continued.

Magull criticized the fact that the second course was not about "finding each other as a team, but rather about proving ourselves." The DFB women were surprisingly eliminated in the preliminary round of the World Cup for the first time. Voss-Tecklenburg, who subsequently reported sick, has since terminated her contract with the DFB. In the film, she explained the announcement of the squad shortly before departure as follows: "We wanted to give the players the longest possible time to show themselves with us."

The players also showed incomprehension about the remote World Cup quarters. The situation in Wyong, about 100 kilometres north of Sydney, had already been discussed during the tournament, but the players were largely reluctant to make public statements at the time. "I would like more freedom. You can think about whether you might be able to handle it differently next time," Schüller said in the article. For the first time, we were extremely far away from the shot, which I didn't think was ideal," said Popp.

The footballers were accommodated in two-person apartments in Wyong, where DFB staff had posted various notices – such as "Stay hydrated" ("Drink all day and check your urine"), "The right sleeping clothes" and "Your bed has a function: sleep!". "I think it was a nice gesture, but it's just unnecessary," Magull said of the move.

The documentary can be seen from Friday in the ZDF media library and on TV.