Soccer goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger is doing "quite well" and after her therapy she is cautiously optimistic. The topic of cancer is and will remain a constant companion for the 32-year-old from FC Chelsea, even before the World Cup in the summer. "It's a long process over several years, in which something always happens, of course, but it can also heal. That's why it's not quite clear whether everything is okay or not," said the 32-year-old from Chelsea FC German press agency.
"But so far, so good. I've already had two examinations and they both came back with good marks, so I'm less worried about that."
Berger found out about her renewed suspicion of cancer during the 2022 European Championships in England, but only made it public later. In the German team she was a substitute keeper behind Merle Frohms together with Almuth Schult. Born in Göppingen, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2017 and had to undergo serious surgery at the time.
After the disease returned last summer, she underwent radioiodine therapy: "Of course, the effect of the tablet is a long process."
The former Potsdam player was back on the pitch at the end of September. When the German vice European champions traveled to the USA in November, Berger was again used in the DFB selection. The results of the treatment were still pending.
The goalkeeper happily listened to the national anthem ahead of the 2-1 loss to the American world champions and everyone on the team knew what that meant to her. "I was very happy because I know that it was something special for her to play here in front of 26,000 fans after her cancer illness. And those are the really important moments," said national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg.
"I no longer have any complaints from last year's illness and I no longer have any deficits," said Berger, who was last three times English champion with Chelsea. Like Frohms from VfL Wolfsburg, she is even on the Fifa list for the world goalkeeper of the year.
With a view to the World Cup tournament from July 20th to August 20th in Australia and New Zealand, where the DFB women will meet Morocco, Colombia and South Korea in the preliminary round, Berger emphasized: "The World Cup obviously plays a huge role for me, Every footballer wants to be there, whether you play or not. For me, the European Championship was just a really nice event and of course I would like to experience it again."
Frohms is considered set at Voss-Tecklenburg. It is currently unclear how things will continue with the clubless Olympic champion Schult. "Of course you always want to play, there's no question. I can't imagine any athlete who would say: 'You know what, I'm really happy to just be here and be second'," explained Berger.
"So of course there is some competition, but ultimately everyone knows their role in the squad and has to accept that." She hasn't let something like that drive her crazy for a long time anyway: she "never thinks so much about my future, but likes to live in the here and now".