“Achieve the maximum”

Ahead of the last day of the season, Almuth Schult looks back on her final campaign in green and white.

Almuth Schult’s 180th Bundesliga appearance is set to be a particularly emotional one, not least because it is likely to be her last German top-flight outing for quite some time. Schult will take her place between the sticks for the final time in a VfL Wolfsburg home match when the She-Wolves take on Bayer 04 Leverkusen in front of their own fans on Sunday 15 May (kick-off 14:00 CEST). After this summer’s European Championship, the 31-year-old will continue her career with newly founded Los Angeles outfit Angel City in the American NWSL. Ahead of Saturday’s game, Schult discusses the final match of the season and reflects on her time with the Green-and-Whites, which is almost at an end.

Almuth Schult, you’ll be between the posts at the AOK Stadion for the last time on Sunday, but does the excitement of the title celebrations outweigh the sadness?

Almuth Schult: “I feel more sadness really, even though I’m obviously looking forward to the title celebrations. We clinched the championship last week, so there’s no longer any great pressure. It’d be different if we still needed a win. I got a lot of tickets for my family and friends because they all want to attend my last home game.”

This is your sixth German championship. How important is this title for you personally?

Almuth: “That’s hard for me to say. Every season, my goal was to become German champions with VfL Wolfsburg, and it was always tight. This season, it was clear to me that we’d be challenging for the title again, just because we were highly motivated to take the trophy back from FC Bayern Munich. The first title is always a special one, and that was the case with me too. The final day at Elsterweg in 2014 was a particular highlight of my time here, but I repeat, I find it difficult to rank the titles.”

In sporting terms, there’s no longer anything riding on the game. The same applies to opponents Bayer 04 Leverkusen. What are your goals for the season finale?

Almuth: “Our goal is to finish top in all statistics. We want to score the most goals, concede the fewest and get the most wins. That’s exactly why we want to win this game – preferably with a clean sheet. We want to achieve the maximum.”

You’re up against Potsdam in the DFB Cup final. The double would be the perfect ending for you, wouldn’t it?

Almuth: “Yes, absolutely. Then we’d have matched 1. FFC Frankfurt’s record of nine DFB Cup wins, but we’d have done so in a much shorter period of time. That really would be the perfect end.”

Finally, let’s look into the future. You’re fulfilling a dream by going to play in the USA. What is it about the NWSL and the Angel City project that appeals to you?

Almuth: “The NWSL is a very balanced league, which is particularly interesting for a goalkeeper. You just have more to do. Normally in Europe, there are two or three top clubs playing for the title. In the US, you never know who’s going to be champions because the system there is completely different. The players are employed by the league, there are six ‘international’ places on each team and college players are drafted in. I also wanted to get to know another footballing culture – and the football in America is different. They’re not as technically adept, but they shoot more often from long range, there are more crosses into the penalty area and more direct passes. It’s different from the tactical, technical game in Europe. I’m really looking forward to the ex