Vorwort: Dieser Text entstand kurze Zeit nach der Meisterschaft der Frauen des FC Bayern München 2021 und war ursprünglich für ein Webseitenprojekt gedacht, welches am Ende leider nie Realität wurde. Um den Text nicht in der Versenkung verschwinden zu lassen, den damals die geschätzte Annika Becker geschrieben hatte, entschloss ich mich diesen hier zu veröffentlichen. Die Bilder entstanden am letzten Spieltag der Frauen-Bundesliga-Saison 2021, also vor dem Text, und hatten nie wirklich das Ziel, das fehlende Puzzleteil in der Kariere von Simone Laudehr abzubilden.


Simone Laudehr – The final piece

A long ball in the 90th minute, Simone Laudehr jumps up and heads the ball directly to Lea Schueller, who has already started one of her speedy runs towards Eintracht Frankfurt’s goal. A straight shot into the near corner by the striker, and it’s 4-0 for Bayern Munich before the referee blows her whistle on full-time: Bayern Munich wins the German championship 202/2021. And not less important, Simone Laudehr wins the German championship with the final whistle of a long and very successful career.

All the tension that was felt before this big game is finally released, the entire Bayern side makes a run for Laudehr, who bathes in celebration. The club had honoured her for her services before the game already. Laudehr ended her active playing career as one of the most successful German footballers of all time and winning the domestic title was the final and missing piece. The 103-time national player is a world champion and two-time European champion, won both bronze and gold at the Olympic Games, and celebrated the Champions League title as well as the UEFA Women’s Cup.

Nationally, she won the DFB Cup three times and was runner-up in the championship a full ten times. Unforgotten, for example, is the dramatic season finale back in 2014, when Laudehr was playing for 1. FFC Frankfurt: Her side went into the last matchday of the season one point ahead of VfL Wolfsburg, whom they were to face in a direct duel. A draw would have been enough, which Kozue Ando’s goal seemed to grant Frankfurt in the 82nd minute. But the match was not yet over. Shortly before full-time, Alexandra Popp scored the winning goal for Wolfsburg, and Laudehr’s hope for a championship title was denied once again. This key experience always seemed to be stuck with her right until the end of her career: Last matchday of the 2020/2021 season, Laudehr’s Bayern are two points ahead of Wolfsburg and a draw would be enough… This time around, though, Bayern and Laudehr celebrated a memorable victory against opponents Eintracht Frankfurt. The German championship trophy finally became part of her trophy collection – an end-of-the-career twist straight out of a movie script.

Initially, Laudehr experienced her last fixture as an active player from the bench. As she is waiting to be substituted onto the pitch, the TV cameras show her having a bit of a moment with her teammates, and even the fourth official seems to be wishing her well.

Finally, on the pitch, Laudehr receives the captain’s armband and the now versatile player heads off to play as an attacker. Her team is desperate to somehow make a farewell goal happen for her, which ultimately doesn’t. But the former sports soldier is more than happy to give the assist for Schueller’s 4-0 and somehow that suits much better as a happy little detail on the end of her career, who has always shown herself to be a team player before anything else.

Be it with her intense, passionate play, making lots of runs to wherever she is needed on the pitch. By taking on different tactical positions and roles throughout her career whenever the game, which is developing at speed during Laudehr’s time, or new situations in her respective squads make this necessary. Or by passing on all her experience to the younger players in the squad of Bayern Munich. It’s not a coincidence she also worked hard to be granted her DFB youth coaching licence.

Whether Laudehr will be seen on the sidelines as a coach in professional football at some point remains to be seen; in addition to her youth coaching licence, she has also studied sports marketing and match analysis and has stated her interest in staying a part of professional football in the past. The German women’s game could surely use an experienced and self-assured person like her, be it as a coach or in a more organisational role.

She is currently working at the Allianz Arena museum in the event and marketing area. But on June 6th 2021, none of that mattered, with her teammates carrying Laudehr with their hands. And only a few moments later, with Lina Magull by her side, Laudehr was lifting the championship trophy into the sky. Finally.


Text: Annika Becker / Fotos: Sven Beyrich / Sports Press Photo

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