Klara Bühl: We don't need to hide from anyone
Two games at the Allianz Arena, with a goal in each one: Klara Bühl is the specialist for the big stage. Women's football is witnessing a new era - also thanks to stars like the FC Bayern striker. A conversation about visibility, responsibility and courage.
Klara Bühl - The interview
Klara, president Herbert Hainer said at the turn of the year that 2022 was the year of women's football. The World Cup is coming up this summer - are you going to tack on another year?
"We'll do our best to achieve that. 2022 was a significant year for women's football: there's never been a push like the one we got there. The European Championship played a big role, and our team also played at the Allianz Arena and other big stadiums. We're now on many more people's radar than before, which we're enjoying - and we're not going to rest on our laurels: we don't want to disappear from that radar again. I'm looking forward to everything that comes along in 2023."
How does it feel to experience this spirit of optimism as an active part of the next generation of German women footballers?
"When I started playing football, we all always looked to the men for role models - I modelled myself on Arjen Robben, for example. German women's football does have a long tradition and there have been great characters in the past - but they just weren't as visible. Today, it's easier for young girls to follow our progress. For my generation, that also means responsibility: we want to crank up this cycle, for further generations."
A new era.
"Yes, we're currently going through an exciting phase. And now it's about making sure that the development doesn't stop. There's a lot of power in women's football - we can show girls, young women and people in general all the things that are possible."
You made your debut in the Bundesliga at 15, you won the Bundesliga title with Bayern at 20, and now, at 21 you're a European Championship runner-up. How do you cope with such a rapid development?
"I just enjoy the time and have firmly resolved to always live in the moment, because I can only really make a difference in the here and now. That works very well for me. I've found that the best way for me is to focus on every single training session and every single game and to draw a conclusion at the end of the season to reflect on what needs to be optimised."
Living in the here and now is certainly sensible. But let's look ahead anyway: What are your goals for 2023?
"2022 was already very successful with our performance at the Euros, and we also enjoyed a good season with Bayern. But it's always about taking the next step. I want to take on more responsibility, both at the club and in the national team. And of course trophies are the goal. After coming second, there can only be one direction: moving up one more step."
And you want to push yourself even further in the future.
"Yes, I already resolved to do that last summer. I want to have more presence on the pitch; there's certainly room for improvement. I see that as a normal process, and I have the confidence to say that I would like to be someone who leads by example."
In the Champions League, you're the specialist for goals at the Allianz Arena: You scored against PSG and Barcelona.
"Playing in front of a lot of spectators is extremely motivating for me. I don't feel any pressure there, it's more like that kind of big stage unleashes even more in me. Football, especially my game, is about being courageous. I try to retain my carefree attitude. Of course, over the years you notice how a certain expectation builds up and you want to live up to it. But I always see it as a challenge, an opportunity and not something to shy away from."
What can you achieve in the Champions League this year?
"We don't have to hide from anyone, we saw that against Barcelona. A small dream of mine would be to play against Arsenal, because they're a very interesting team. In principle, we really have to take it round by round. The 3-1 win against Barcelona gave us a very, very good feeling, we have to build on that. Through that experience we know what we're capable of and what we can do against big opponents."
Illustrator: Dave Flanagan
The comprehensive interview is available (in German) in the current issue of the FC Bayern members' magazine "51". Meanwhile, check out FC Bayern Women's possible UWCL quarter-final opponents: