Guilia Gwinn was deeply moved. The national soccer player became German champion for the third time with FC Bayern Munich. But somehow it felt like her first real title.

“This championship means the world to me because it’s the first one where I’m on the pitch and was able to really do my part,” said the 24-year-old after the decisive 2-1 win at Bayer Leverkusen: “In the last two I was only allowed to play two or three games, then I was injured. This time I managed to be fit for the whole season, so it’s an emotional rollercoaster for me now , if you’re really part of it.”

The full-back, who has well over half a million Instagram followers, was part of Bayern’s squad for the championships in 2021 and 2023. But both times the season ended early for her after cruciate ligament tears. Once in September and once in October. This time she played 19 times in 20 games, 18 of them in the starting eleven, and contributed three goals and two assists.

Despite the great relief, Gwinn didn’t want to celebrate too much with a view to the cup final against long-term rivals VfL Wolfsburg in Cologne on Thursday. “We are all professional enough to know that it wouldn’t be the smartest thing to party now,” she said with a laugh: “There is nothing greater for an athlete than in a final like this against such an opponent in front of such a crowd “Many of us haven’t been there for a long time or have never been there at all, so we don’t need any extra motivation.” Wolfsburg recently won the cup nine times in a row.