It was a blow to everyone involved, but probably most of all to Selina Cerci herself: the diagnosis of a torn cruciate ligament. The Turbine Potsdam striker injured her left knee in the game against SGS Essen two weeks ago and will now be out for a few months. This is particularly bitter given her strong performances this season, which recently earned her first nomination for the German national team.
In January, when asked about her personal goals for this season, the 21-year-old said she simply wanted to remain injury-free. Because her injuries had held her back again and again in the last few seasons and also in her debut season at Turbine. But she’s really taken off since the summer, so her failure weighs even more heavily.
On Instagram, Cerci remained combative, writing, “It was a slap in the face and a deep pain in my heart! I will show you and prove that anyone can fight back.”
The striker is currently the top scorer in the Bundesliga with 13 goals and is the linchpin of the Potsdam team’s offense. This inevitably raises the question of how Turbine intends to make up for his absence in the coming weeks. In the last game against Werder Bremen, coach Sofian Chahed’s team impressively showed with a 5-0 away win that they can make up for Cerci’s absence.
“But it must also be said that Bremen were relatively weakened by illness, had only two outfield players on the bench and the team lacked support,” Chahed did not want to overestimate the result. However, he was satisfied: “But the team did well and we certainly deserved to win there, even without Selina Cerci.”
Coach Chahed sticks to his game system
The Potsdam women played in the usual 4-4-2, Sophie Weidauer played for Cerci up front. “Sophie didn’t replace her, but she took a new position as a hanging point,” Chahed explained. Despite Cerci’s absence, she doesn’t want to make any big changes to her team: “We’ve got the groundwork clear and the groundwork is in place, so it’s just going to be completely refilled.”
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He sees Weidauer a bit less offensive than Cerci and his strengths in 8th position. “If we still have Melissa Kössler in the lead, then Sophie can always drop a bit in midfield, which is unpleasant for the opponent to defend,” says Chahed’s match plan for the upcoming tasks in the Bundesliga.
With victory against Bremen, Turbine has moved past TSG Hoffenheim in the table and is just one point behind Eintracht Frankfurt in third place, which would mean a place in Champions League qualifying.
Chahed remains modest: “I think that if we set that goal and then we don’t achieve it in the end, we will be disappointed. We have set ourselves a clear goal that we want to score more points than last season, that we want to score more goals and that we want to score fewer goals.” And we’re on the right track there. Of course, if we finish third, we won’t say no either.”
“They’re in a very, very good mood right now.”
On Sunday, SC Sand is a team that visits the Karl Liebknecht Stadium (13:00, Magenta Sport), which Chahed sees as the tougher opponent compared to the last two games against Essen and Bremen. Last Wednesday, new coach Alexander Fischinger’s team were overtaken by record champions Wolfsburg, even after leading early on. “They are in a very good mood right now. A shakeup went through the team, a new coach came in,” says Chahed, who watched the game in preparation for Sunday.
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From Turbine’s point of view, hopefully the rest of the season they don’t run out of breath and actually find a way to replace their main striker Selina Cerci in the long run, so that in the end it might be possible to qualify for the Champions League.