German ex-international active as women football oldest player at military games

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-20 16:37:07|Editor: xuxin
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WUHAN, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Ten years after she retired as a professional footballer, Germany's 42-year-old midfielder Kerstin Stegemann is still delivering on the international stage.

The former German international shone during her side's 1-0 win over the United States on Thursday despite being the oldest player in women's football at the 7th CISM Military World Games in Wuhan.

She said an unrelenting fitness regime was key to her longevity: "I am running on a regular basis, I am swimming quite a lot and sometimes I also play football."

Stegemann lasted the full 90 minutes in the close Group A victory over the U.S. at the Wuhan National Fitness Center Football Field. The team's another standout player, Sarah Begunk, scored the winner deep into the extra time.

"It was a lucky match for us," Stegemann said. "Both teams were very strong but in the last minutes we scored a goal and won the game. Normally we lose the game in added time."

German coach Markus Hein revealed Stegemann had even predicted the last-gasp victory.

"On the way to China we had a talk and she said, 'I think this time we are lucky and we will score the final goal in overtime'," Hein said.

Hein had no doubts about the decision to leave his veteran star player on the pitch for the duration of the match.

"She is the oldest player in the whole tournament but nevertheless she is still a top player," he said. "She is still one of the best and you could see it. Even after 90 minutes she kept on running."

Stegemann started for Germany in Saturday's another Group A match against favorites China. Despite of their 4-0 defeat to the host China, Germany can still advance to the last four if they can beat South Korea on Monday.