Paula Radtke has admitted to a case of split loyalties when watching the 2015 Women’s World Cup.
The defender is thoroughly enjoying the showpiece tournament taking place on the other side of the Atlantic, and has found herself supporting England as well as her native Germany.
Five MCWFC stars are representing the Lionesses in Canada, including captain Steph Houghton, and Paula is desperate for her teammates to go as far as possible in the competition and to have the best possible experience representing their country on the world stage.
She told mcfc.co.uk: “It’s really cool to watch people you know playing in the World Cup and be able to cheer for them. I’m not English and before I joined City I would not cheer for England, but now I know all the players I am definitely shouting for them as well as Germany.
“They are having the time of their lives over there and I don’t want them to come home disappointed.
“I want them to come home and say we had a really good tournament, both individually and collectively. I hope they can go out and do well in the next two games and go on to the knock out stages.”
England will be chasing their first points of the fledgling tournament when they meet Mexico on Saturday following a 1-0 defeat to France in their opening game.
Watching on eagerly at home, Radtke was impressed by the general display of Mark Sampson’s side against the team ranked third in the world, but suspects the team will line up in a more attacking formation when they re-take the field at the weekend.
“I thought England’s performance against France was really good,” she asserted. “Apart from the goal, defensively they were really solid and worked well as a team. If they want to win they have to be more creative offensively but I thought they played well.
“I would think the formation against Mexico will not be as defensive as against France and they may switch it. They need to show Mexico who wants to win the game right from the very first second.”
Viewers across the country have been watching on as the sport’s top talents battle it out for the biggest prize of all, and City’s 30-year-old defender has been relishing the quality of football on display.
With the women’s game taking centre stage this summer, she believes all participating nations continue to grow and improve at a rapid rate.
Declared Radtke: “I’ve been watching every game and I’ve really enjoyed it – I was really disappointed when there was no game on Wednesday! I’ve been really looking forward to it and the quality has been great.
“I think all the teams have really improved, especially technically and in their composure. It is Costa Rica’s first ever World Cup and they played really well to get a draw against Spain.
“I’ve enjoyed it all so much but it’s a shame that the 9pm games are only online on the BBC. I think some of those have been the best games, like Nigeria against Sweden, really tight games.”
However, while she remains an ardent fan of Germany, she isn’t backing the country of her birth to go all the way and lift the trophy in a highly competitive tournament.
One of the headlines of the first round of fixtures was Germany’s impressive demolition of the Ivory Coast 10-0, but Radtke isn’t betting on a similar outcome in the rest of the team’s group games.
“I think tonight we will see what happens when the teams a little more evenly matched!” she said.
“I don’t think Germany will win the tournament – I have France or Sweden as my favourites, and Germany could hit France in the quarter or semi finals. If they meet on the road [to the final] I think that will be it.
“However, so much can happen, and with injuries and suspensions you can never be exactly sure how a game will pan out.
"Of course, I really want Germany to be the winners, so let's see what happens!"