Interview: Bayern Munich’s Carina Wenninger

Carina Wenninger is one of the most experienced defenders in women’s football, making over 180 appearances for Bundesliga Frauen giants Bayern Munich and has won over 90 caps for Austria.

The double Bundesliga winner spoke to me about her life in football and how her extraordinary career started.

Talking about her hopes for Bayern Munich when football gets back underway she explained, “First of all I hope that all our players stay healthy and don’t get injured during this break”.

“Secondly we want to be successful and win matches as we always do, but that’s not the most important issue in these times with the Coronavirus and I hope everybody stays safe during this time”.

Wenninger featured for LUV Graz, FC Gratkorn and hometown club SV Thal before making the move to the German giants.

Talking about how she got into football the Austrian International said, “I got into playing football with a friend from school, who took me to training and I really enjoyed that, and I also played with my Dad when I was little”.

As well as having two Bundesliga titles to her name Wenninger also has DFB-Pokal and Bundesliga Cup medals in her collection.

Photo: @CarinaWenninger

When asked about her career highlight to date the 29-year-old didn’t think about the trophies as she said, “My career highlight was playing at the Euros in the Netherlands in 2017, where we reached the semi-final, it was amazing for not only us as players but the whole country”.

On their way to the last four Austria topped their group pipping France in the process before knocking Spain out after a thrilling penalty shootout in Tilburg.

The journey was also to end via the dreaded penalty shootout as Denmark reached the final before eventually losing out to eventual champions and host nation the Netherlands.

However she has had glory at international level as she was part of the Austrian squad that lifted the Cyprus cup in 2016.

Asked about her thoughts on the rise of German football Wenninger said “I really don‘t know if it is growing every year when I compare it with other countries like England. I still do think there are still a lot of good players in Germany though”.

Bayern Munich are currently second in the Bundesliga Frauen behind VFL Wolfsburg and have a Champions League quarter-final against Lyon to play should football resume following the coronavirus pandemic.

Talking about her ambitions for the future at the Allianz Arena, Wenninger explained in a positive manner ” I want to win titles with FC Bayern Munich and I want to play in an environment, where people make each other better and push one another to be the best”.

Playing as a defender the Bayern Munich number 19 has come up against some of the best players in European football when asked about her toughest opponent she said, “This is a very hard question”.

“There are super good attacking players right now in women’s football, maybe Ewa Pajor of Wolfsburg”.

Finally asked about her advice to upcoming players she said, “My advice is to enjoy the game and love what you are doing, always play football with a smile on your face”.