FC Bayern: Lena Oberdorf is coming from competitor VfL Wolfsburg – Sport in the summer

Now that the news is out, these sentences from Lena Oberdorf are of course being dug out again. They fit so well too. Before the 2022 European Football Championship in England, Oberdorf announced Sports picture an interview, the reporter asked if she knew the song “Bayern” by the punk rock band Die Toten Hosen. The refrain line, sung with great verve, is: “We would never go to FC Bayern Munich! Never go to Bayern!” Of course she knows this song, Oberdorf said at the time and joined in almost immediately: “I can’t imagine going to Bayern either.” To emphasize the point, the Schalke fan told Oberdorf: Even if Dortmund had been Bayern’s opponent, she was more likely to keep her fingers crossed for BVB. “That says it all, doesn’t it?”

Now FC Bayern is still FC Bayern, but Lena Oberdorf’s opinion has obviously changed. One day after the 6-0 win in the round of 16 of the DFB Cup against Kickers Offenbach, the Munich team announced on Thursday what is known in the industry as the so-called transfer hammer. The 22-year-old national player is moving from VfL Wolfsburg to FC Bayern, from cup winners to German champions – and with it the sides within the rivalry that has characterized the Bundesliga in recent years. Which is good news for German football after various farewells abroad. One can assume that no club in the world would have objected to adding Lena Oberdorf to their squad and the interest was great. She is commonly referred to as the talent of the century.

But Oberdorf, as VfL Wolfsburg also announced at the same time, is joining FC Bayern “in the summer at his own request”. She is making use of an exit clause that was stipulated in her contract, which runs until 2025. As is usual in women’s football, both clubs did not officially disclose any information about the transfer fee. There is speculation about a sum of up to 450,000 euros. In any case, it is likely to be the highest payment to date for a German footballer.

“Lena Oberdorf is one of the most talented players in Germany and has a great future ahead of her,” Bianca Rech, head of the FC Bayern women’s department, is quoted as saying. They are convinced that Oberdorf represents the values ​​that “we need in order to continue to be successful in the future”. For Rech, this transfer is the next coup after Chelsea FC signed two highly sought-after players in Magdalena Eriksson and Pernille Harder (formerly a regular at Wolfsburg) this season. Eriksson strengthens the defense, Harder the offense – and Oberdorf the midfield in the future. With players like Georgia Stanway, Sarah Zadrazil, Linda Dallmann and Sydney Lohmann, this is not a problem area anyway, even after Lina Magull moved to Inter Milan in the winter.

“I don’t think I’m a complete player yet – but I want to get there,” says Oberdorf

The club published the usual photo of the professional and manager on social networks. But it was striking how beaming both Oberdorf and Rech were, a red pen in their hand and a thick signature folder in front of them. Her new contract is valid until June 30, 2028. Oberdorf says in the statement, “I really liked the club’s vision of what they want to achieve in the next few years.”

The balance of power at the top of the league is likely to shift further from green to red. The departure is a big loss for Wolfsburg: a player with Oberdorf’s profile is difficult to replace. On Tuesday, VfL announced the signing of Janina Minge, 24, who is coming from SC Freiburg on a free transfer in the summer. She is also a national player and is at home in midfield – but a different type of player and not an equivalent replacement. Oberdorf is one of the best in the six position in the world. She stood out early on with her calm, routine and robustness because all of these characteristics seemed so pronounced in her right from the start, as if she were a record-winning international player in the body of a teenager.

The international breakthrough: Lena Oberdorf in the 2019 game against China – at 17 years, five months and 20 days, she was the youngest German World Cup debutant.

(Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty)

As a 16-year-old, Oberdorf, who was born in Gevelsberg in the Ruhr area, moved to SGS Essen and quickly developed into a top performer. What a special footballer she was playing in the Bundesliga soon became known internationally: the then national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg nominated Oberdorf for the 2019 World Cup and substituted her in the opening game against China after the break. In her fourth international match for the senior national team, Oberdorf became the youngest German World Cup debutant at the age of 17 years, five months and 20 days – and she did so with astonishing ease on this big stage.

FC Bayern is said to have been interested in her even back then; her teammates Marina Hegering and Lea Schüller went from Essen to Munich. But Oberdorf decided to move to VfL for the 2020/21 season because of the style of play and because she liked the club more, as she said. The results with the She-Wolves were not bad, Oberdorf won the championship in 2022, the cup three times (2021, 2022, 2023) and reached the final of the Champions League in 2023. The prospect of continuing her series of titles must now have seemed better to her elsewhere.

The fact that Wolfsburg, in view of the increasing competition, makes no secret of the fact that it will be more difficult for the former series winner to assert themselves could have been a motivation for the early change. There is also the hope of a performance boost through new impulses after a phase of stagnation. In the past few months, Oberdorf has not only been plagued by back problems, there has also been talk of a certain level of fatigue in the grind of competitive sports.

“This is a big day for the club,” said Bayern coach Alexander Straus at a media round after the announcement. He thinks Oberdorf has a lot more to offer in attack than she was able to show recently: “She can also be a goalscorer. She can tackle this part of the game even more. That’s what we want to try with her here.” Oberdorf had hinted at further development in the statement. In the conversations with the Norwegian and Bianca Rech, she was shown “where my potential lies and what can still be gotten out of me. I think I’m not a complete player yet – but I want to get there.” These are promising prospects for FC Bayern Munich, but it is an extremely worrying prospect for the competition.

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