Andries Jonker wants to destroy the German dream of the Olympics

Both Germany and the Netherlands are still fighting to take part in the Olympics. In the middle of the direct duel: two former Bundesliga coaches.

The German women’s national team is just one win away from taking part in the Olympic Games. On Wednesday the game for third place in the Nations League in Heerenveen against the Netherlands (from 8.45 p.m. in the live ticker on t-online). Germany will not only face former Bundesliga professionals like attacker Lineth Beerensteyn. Above all, an old friend stands in the way of the team: Andries Jonker.

The Dutch coach made a name for himself in Germany when he coached FC Bayern as Louis van Gaal’s assistant and later led the club into the Champions League on an interim basis as head coach (2009 to 2011). Jonker wants his “Leeuwinnen” to win against the DFB women, but he will not underestimate the team of national coach Horst Hrubesch. “Germany is still a top team,” he said at a press conference on Tuesday before the small final of the Nations League.

While the DFB team lost in the semi-final against France (1:2), the Netherlands clearly failed in the second semi-final against world champions Spain (0:3). Germany “played well in Lyon, they were better,” said the 62-year-old Jonker, who has been looking after his own team since 2022.

The Netherlands have major personnel concerns ahead of the Germany game in what will most likely be a sold-out Abe Lenstra Stadium. After Arsenal players Victoria Pelova and Vivianne Miedema have already traveled back to their club in London, the next top performer in Daniëlle van de Donk is now in danger of missing out. “These are three regular players. But we will also solve these problems,” said Jonker confidently. He expects a game “on equal terms”.

Germany versus Netherlands classic

According to Jonker, his team will particularly keep an eye on the dangerous DFB captain Alexandra Popp. Defender Kerstin Casparij said on Tuesday: “They’re a pretty good team and of course they have pop.” “We have to pay particular attention to the German player,” emphasized the 23-year-old. But she doesn’t expect any surprises: “We know what we’re dealing with.”

Meanwhile, national coach Hrubesch is expecting “a very interesting game” and is preparing his team for a classic, as he said before setting off for Heerenveen. The 1980 European champion knows from his own experience against “Oranje”: “Those were always explosive and fun games.” In 1978 he played one of his first international matches with the then B national team against their neighboring rivals.

Now Hrubesch is on the sidelines as national coach against the Netherlands. It’s an all or nothing game. “We have the second chance. Now we will try to make the step to the Olympics,” said the coach and skillfully moderated the possible tension in his team: “We are always under pressure as a national team.”

The 72-year-old has a lot of respect for bond coach Jonker. “We know each other by sight. We don’t have to think too much about the fact that he is an excellent coach,” said Hrubesch. Both coaches previously gained experience in men’s football before daring to change perspective.

“Women’s football learned to love back then”

The differences are immense. Jonker told the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” at the 2023 World Cup: “When boys or men come into a dressing room, it is always clear: they are the most important thing. I want to play in this club, I want to extend the contract, I want to be sold, I want more money, I want a car – me, me, me.”

In women’s football, however, the focus lies elsewhere. “Women are much more focused on working together,” says Jonker. Self-motivation and commitment are sometimes higher.