She is one of the best football players in the world. But at the same time, the 2019 FIFA World Cup has been a disappointment for Dzsenifer Marozsán.
Born in Budapest, Marozsán is a rare breed in Germany’s play that is very much dominated by dominant players looking to grind down their opponent using their athletic superiority. Marozsán is a virtuoso on the ball, a classic playmaker. Think Mesut Özil, but with a better drive to the goal.
It is that technical ability, however, that made her a target for China’s defenders in Germany’s first group stage match. The Germans were the better team throughout the 90 minutes, but struggled with the consistent fouling; most players walked away with scars and bruises following the encounter.
Marozsán, in particular, was targeted. The Olympique Lyonnais playmaker had her toe broken during the match. That did not stop her from completing the game, but it meant that she was not on the pitch when Germany first beat Spain 1-0, then South Africa 4-0 and finally Nigeria 3-0.
Hence, as the World Cup progressed, viewers were deprived of one of the best players. That wait, however, will be over when Germany meet Sweden at the Route de Lorient on Saturday.
Maroszán felt that she was already ready for the game against Nigeria. “I said to the coach that I am ready for Nigeria,” Marozsán said to the media after the Nigeria game. “But now I have gained some extra time, which helps the healing process a lot,” Maroszán said.
“We would have brought her on, if needed,” Bundestrainerin Martina Voss-Tecklenburg said after the game. Ultimately, she was not needed as Germany easily brushed Nigeria aside.
“There are worse things than a broken toe; it isn’t a reason to let the head hang low,” Maroszán added. Lyon’s number 10 knows what she is talking about. In 2018 she suffered a pulmonary embolism that took her out for three months last season.
Said Maroszán: “When you have experienced something like that, then you have a different perspective on life.” That incident meant that Maroszán missed some time with Olympique Lyon last season.
At the same time, once back, she was a force on the pitch. Playing in 15 Division 1 Féminin games in France she scored ten goals and seven assists. She added another two goals and three assists in seven Champions League games.
Enough to help Lyon win the Champions League this spring. It was already her fourth trophy in that competition. Now back in World Cup contention with Germany – die Nationalmannschaft will face Sweden on Saturday – Maroszán is hoping for three more games and ultimately a World Cup triumph with Germany.
It is the title that she is still missing after Champions League triumphs and an Olympic Gold medal with Germany in 2016. A World Cup title would go a long way to establish herself as the world’s best playmaker before she is heading back to Lyon to play for Olympique in the quest of yet another Champions League triumph.
Speaking of Lyon, Maroszán will be playing with Lyon at the International Champions Cup this summer. For fans Stateside, it's an amazing opportunity to see one of the world’s best players live in the flesh.