Two core German internationals announced their departures last week. Star opposite Louisa Lippmann will take a break from the women’s national team, while talented playmaker Denise Imoudu will end her career.
Germany’s Lippmann and Imoudu bid their farewells
Opposite Lippmann retires from national team, setter Imoudu ends her athletic career
Gepubliceerd 11:00, 09 mei 2022
27-year-old Lippmann recently finished her club season with Italy’s Savino Del Bene Scandicci in the top four of the Lega Pallavolo A1 standings, but will not be joining Vital Heynen’s German squad for the upcoming national team season.
“The national team and the Olympic dream have always been my main reason for playing volleyball, my daily motivation,” the 1.91m-tall striker wrote on Instagram. “It was a special honour for me and made me proud. I have always given EVERYTHING and received a lot, unfortunately not the big successes I always dreamed of. For me, this journey of ups and downs is over for the time being.”
Since she was first called to the senior national team in 2013, Lippmann has collected 162 caps under the German flag. She picked up two CEV European League silvers and the award for Best Opposite at the 2014 edition of the continental tournament. She was also the best scorer and named the Dream Team opposite of the CEV European Olympic Qualification in 2020, when Germany fell just short of qualifying for Tokyo after losing the deciding match to Turkey.
Lippmann never made it to the Olympics, but played at two FIVB Volleyball World Championships, in 2014 and 2018. She also played at the Baku 2015 European Games among many other editions of major international competitions like the Volleyball Nations League, the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix and the CEV European Championship. She was named Germany’s Volleyballer of the Year five times, from 2017 through 2021.
“In 2008, I first watched a German national team game and from then on it was my biggest dream to be part of the national team,” Lippmann wrote. “Now I would like to thank all my teammates in the national squad for everything they taught me.”
The departure of 26-year-old setter Denise Imoudu is as surprising as Lippmann's. She also finished her club season in the national league top four, with Germany’s Palmberg Schwerin, but then cited personal reasons for putting an end to her playing career.
“I want to have more family time,” she said. “And I'm taking several coaching courses.”
In 2011, Imoudu helped Germany reach the semifinals of the CEV Youth European Championship and the fifth place at the FIVB Youth World Championship. She also played at the U23 World Championship in 2013, before joining the senior team for their 2014 European League silver-medal campaign. The 1.80m-tall athlete was on Germany’s roster for the first two editions of the VNL, but as of last year she was already the main playmaker of the team for VNL 2021 and EuroVolley 2021. The talented setter made 44 appearances in the national team jersey.
Imoudu also collected a number of medals in her club volleyball career, including a 2015 CEV Challenge Cup bronze and the 2020-2021 Germany Cup and Germany Super Cup trophies with Palmberg.
“I've had a few days to let everything sink in and I'm writing these lines with great gratitude,” she wrote on Instagram. “I look back on 10 years in the Bundesliga and a few appearances with the national team. Thanks to every single person, whether a fellow player, a trainer, a family member, a friend or a fan, and all other valuable supporters, who have accompanied me on this journey. This sport made me the person I am today and I couldn't be more grateful. I am now looking forward to a new chapter in my life and many new challenges...”