Curious scene during the match between Switzerland and Sweden, Wednesday, at the Women’s Euro. Ramona Bachmann falls, visibly hit in the thigh, the action continues, and suddenly the player gets up in one movement, the ball reaches her, she shoots, and falls to the ground without even watching her shot fail far from the opposing cage.
No “cinema” here, the poor thing was really in pain: she had to go out in stride to the chagrin of her own determination and her trainer. But it is as if, sensing the opportunity that was coming but did not yet exist, an irrepressible football spasm had run through his body. Dominating the pain, the fatigue, and the hopelessness of the enterprise. Maybe it’s called instinct?
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The Nati ended up losing the game. Fortunately not his attacker. The next day, she could follow her recovery program normally. “She will be available on Sunday,” coach Nils Nielsen confirmed to us in the park. so british from the Oulton Hall Hotel where the Swiss have been packing for ten days. Sunday? A “final” against the Netherlands, defending champions. The winners will most likely go to the quarters, the losers will be eliminated. That is to say, it will be necessary to score. And for the Swiss team, it often goes through Ramona Bachmann.
At 31, the Lucernoise has 124 selections for 54 goals. At the English Euro, she is involved in two of the three successes that her team has registered. She landed a marvelous free-kick on the head of Rahel Kiwic against Portugal, and curled a fine shot into the top corner against Sweden.
“She is a player who can make the difference in all circumstances, which is all the more impressive since three or four opponents are always after her, applauds attacking midfielder Coumba Sow, who plays just behind on the field. . It’s not just his goals: his work means a lot to us.”
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Former captain of the Nati converted into a team manager, Caroline Abbé remembers the galley at marking: “If you are not glued to her when she receives the ball, it’s finished. She’s so quick on the first few meters…” Stopper Luana Bühler confirms: “She’s really not an easy opponent to defend. I see it in training: she always invents something that you hadn’t thought of.
For the function she occupies in the mechanics of the Nati, she is often compared to Xherdan Shaqiri: the grain of madness, the thrust, the singular ball conduct. Her teammate “Loulou” goes further: “For me, if we look for an equivalent in men’s football, all things considered, it’s Lionel Messi. For the ability to surprise, the art of dribbling, unlimited creativity.”
Rare qualities. Difficult to teach. Time spoke about it recently with Patrick Bruggmann, technical director of the Swiss Football Association. “How do we measure creativity? Speed, strength, relaxation, we know how to do it with precision, it’s easy. But for creativity, there are no indicators. We have to develop them, and find exercises and protocols that allow us to observe and develop them.”
Play against harder
Yet we know how these profiles of players hatch like no other: by being forced to play against stronger and bigger than them. Because you can’t tell the difference physically, you have to develop different strategies.
This “something else”, this offensive “flow”, Coumba Sow discovered it in the urban games with his friends from Oerlikon, in which the half of Paris FC continues to participate when she is in the area. “All my technique, I don’t get it from club training but from the street,” she says. Ramona Bachmann’s apprenticeship was even earlier. His father Martin coached FC Malters juniors. From an early age, she was always stuffed around. The thing came by itself.
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Play against stronger, play against bigger. At 15, she is the youngest footballer in National League B, with Lucerne. At 16, she dropped everything to sign for Umea, in a Sweden ahead of the rest of Europe in terms of women’s football. The 164 centimeter teenager is up against tall Scandinavians, so she asserts her football of leg crossings and body feints, her catch-me-if-you-can style.
The passion for dribbling sometimes leads to certain excesses. Some criticize him for his selfishness. Critique that she scatters in two hooks. “If I am blocked in one against one, I am told that I must make more passes, she said to Blick before the Euro. But if I win one-on-one and score a goal, everyone congratulates me. So I listen to my team and my coaches. But other opinions don’t interest me.
The meaning of history
Teammate Coumba Sow smiles as she says her partner is “taking up space” on the pitch, but she says she is mostly convinced it is always for the good of the team. Coach Nils Nielsen, who likes to compose the score but leave his players free to interpret it as they please, accepts the role of soloist for his number 10. He places her at the forefront of the attack knowing that she will sometimes go down mid-court, will sometimes spin on the wing, and perhaps elsewhere still, where football calls him.
With Ramona Bachmann, the sense of acting goes with that of history. In the mid-2010s, when the big men’s clubs began to take an interest in female footballers, she left the Swedish championship – soon to be downgraded – for the German Bundesliga (Wolfsburg), then the English Premier League (Chelsea), and finally the League 1 French. There, she did not join just any club but Paris Saint-Germain, which at the end of its first season won the title of champion of France to end a fourteen-year domination of Olympique Lyonnais.
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Before that, Ramona Bachmann has already lifted trophies everywhere she went. She has twenty in all. The only thing missing from her record is the Champions League, in which she played in the final three times. This remains his goal today, even if his starting status at PSG was dulled last season. With the Nati, she knows, it will be difficult to win a major title before the end of his career. But reaching the quarter-finals of the Euro by beating the defending champions would already have a certain panache.