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Germany greats Sasic and Kessler talk Marozsan

  • Two Germany legends give their views on current captain Dzsenifer Marozsan
  • Celia Sasic & Nadine Kessler are ex-team-mates of hers with club and country
  • They discuss their successor’s qualities as a player and a person

When it comes to talking about Dzsenifer Marozsan, everyone is in agreement.

On the pitch, Marozsan has just been voted the Player of the Year in the French league for the third time in a row, having lifted the title for the third year in a row with Olympique Lyonnais. And it was also for the third time in a row – and the fourth overall following the French club’s defeat of FFC Frankfurt in the 2015 final – that together they won the UEFA Women’s Champions League, with Marozsan scoring in the 4-1 final win over Barcelona. A few months earlier, she had also figured among the three shortlisted contenders for The Best FIFA Women’s Player award for 2019.

The Germany international would have an equally impressive CV if trophies were also awarded for human qualities, of which she has many. At least that is the opinion of two former team-mates of hers with a similarly elevated standing in the game.

Speaking to, Nadine Kessler and Celia Sasic discussed the talent and character of the 27-year-old. The two are certainly qualified to assess Marozsan’s merits: Kessler won the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2014, while Sasic finished a runner-up for the same accolade the following year.

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Marozsan on the ball

Sasic: Dzsenifer is a fantastic player. I’ve never seen a woman – and rarely seen a man – use the ball the way she does. It’s amazing. I think if she were a boy, she’d be at an even higher level, especially in terms of ball control. She’s just wow! There’s no-one who can touch her. She can also shoot, pass, read the game, and make the strikers look even better than they are because she can give you the ball just where you want it. It feels good to have someone like her on your team.

Kessler: I’ve practically seen her grow up. She was my ball girl and about 12 years old. Sometimes we had to stop playing because she juggled the ball too long when it went out and just didn’t give it back. Even then many couldn’t believe their eyes and wondered who this girl was. She really is incredibly good with the ball – the ball sticks to her foot, the perfect No10! It’s two different things to be technically talented and to be able to efficiently implement it on the field – ‘Dzeni’ does this excellently and is, therefore, probably the epitome of technical execution in women’s football in general.

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Off the pitch

Sasic: As a person, she’s a great team-mate. She never puts herself first or goes about saying, ‘I’m Dzsenifer Marozsan. I’m one of the best players in the world’. She’s very natural and takes pleasure in playing a game that she really loves. We roomed together at the 2015 World Cup. Dzsenifer loves being surrounded by her family and friends. That’s very important to her. She’s pretty reserved, but she’s always there when you want to go somewhere or do something. She’s generous and approachable with everyone and she wouldn’t hurt anyone. You can’t help but like her.

Kessler: I can’t deny it: I am very, very proud of her and of what she has achieved, but even more of how she has developed as a personality on and off the pitch. She has grown incredibly over the last few years and has suffered bitter defeats and health setbacks. Everything she achieved was, therefore, hard-earned and there’s certainly more to come. She is clearly a football madwoman, but with all her success she has never forgotten where she comes from, who her friends are, and how important her family is – a special person!

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Marozsan the leader

Sasic: Dzsenifer’s role has changed a lot. At previous World Cups, she played alongside other players who had a lot of personality. Now she’s the captain of Germany, a team that everyone has their eye on and which has enjoyed a lot of success in the past. It’s a chance for her to grow, which is what she’s done in moving away from her family to go and live in another country. That’s good for her character and development and now that she’s an experienced player, I think she will guide this young team and play a key role at this World Cup.

Kessler: ‘Dzseni’ will play a leading role in this World Cup, as she did last season at Olympique Lyon. She has the class, international experience and calmness to withstand the pressure of this big event and to play a key role in the German national team and to sweep the team along! Together with captain Alex Popp and other leading players, she will have to shape the German game decisively and also perform leadership work in order to be able to continue the very good recent performances of the women’s national team at the World Cup. The DFB women will certainly appear as a closed unit with a clear tactical orientation. All in all, a team that won’t give opponents too much pleasure and, therefore, has a good chance of achieving great things at the World Cup. This is definitely a World Cup that Maroszan will leave her mark on!

Marozsan on Sasic

Everyone remembers when Celia showed what a cool head she’s got by equalising from the spot in the quarter-final against France and then converting again in the shootout. She scored six goals and won the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer, which says it all.

Celia’s a very open person. She’s always available for a chat or to give you a hand. She’s just adorable. As a player, she never shirked her responsibilities. She was always there to pick you up when you needed it, and she was always in the thick of it when there was singing and dancing on the bus. Even if she was sat right at the back, you could still hear her above everyone else.

Marozsan on Kessler

Nadine is a player I’ve always admired. I was her ballgirl and I always wanted to be like her. She was a great role model for me, and she’s still someone I look up to as a person. I’m so happy we were able to spend so much time together, and it’s just a shame she can’t play anymore. She’s still my role model though.

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EltasZone Sportswriters, Sports Analysts, Opinion columnists, editorials and op-eds. Analysis from The Zone Team
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