“It was only ever football for me”

Burgeoning VfL star Diana Nemeth talks about making the move from Hungary to Wolfsburg.

Die VfL-Wolfsburg-Spielerin Diana Nemeth klatscht nach dem Spiel in die Hände und schaut in die Kamera.

At the age of four, Diana Nemeth already knew that she wanted to do one thing more than anything else: play football. Since then, nothing has changed. At the age of just 19, she made her debut both in the Champions League and for her country Hungary. During the winter transfer window, Nemeth made another big move in terms of her career – this time from Ferencvaros in Budapest to Wolfsburg. After a tricky start with the She-Wolves, she now describes herself as “really happy to be here”.

Hampered by injury

The Hungarian international made her debut for VfL Wolfsburg in the 4-1 win over Freiburg last weekend – a moment that she describes as “meaning so much”. After making the move to the Green-and-Whites, she found herself sidelined by injury. “It really did come at the worst possible time and made my first weeks and months here so tough,” she explains. “The other girls really supported me through this time though, and the medical staff did everything they could to get me back as soon as possible.”

Football-crazy from an early age

Nemeth came to football via her elder brother, at the age of just four. “I often went to his training sessions and really enjoyed watching and kicking the ball back to the boys,” the now 19-year-old defender recalls. “I wanted to get involved myself but I wasn’t allowed to start until I was five. After my birthday, I turned up at training the very next day!” Nemeth also tried swimming and tennis, “but actually it was only ever football for me”, she says.

She took her first steps as a footballer in a small boys’ team in Pomaz, and played with them up until the age of 12, when she moved to Budapest club Ferencvaros with dreams of turning pro. “I always felt that I would be able to play professionally,” she says. “Moving to Ferencvaros was a sort of confirmation that this dream could actually come true.” The left-back made 30 appearances for the club from the Hungarian capital, including six in the qualifying rounds for the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

“Really improve here”

When VfL came calling during the last transfer window, Nemeth still had six months left to run on her contract with Ferencvaros. And it was clear from the outset that she would have to work to establish a place in the first team at Wolfsburg, initially by getting game time with the U20s. Nemeth, however, realised that “this was what I would have to do. Even if I didn’t get much playing time to start off with, I felt that this would be a place where I could really improve.”

She’s still in the process of carving out a role in the team, with the priority being to get in tune with her teammates out on the pitch. Her personal goal is to get “as much playing time as possible” between now and the summer. Her next opportunity to do that could come in VfL Women’s match away to Duisburg on Sunday.