We have known for at least three years that women are also on the rise in football. At that time, Imke Wübbenhorst became the coach of the upper league men at BV Cloppenburg and revealed: “I’m a professional. I line up according to the length of the tail.” The sentence was voted the saying of the year and the prizewinner was rewarded with 5,000 euros.

For this, a woman usually has to kick the ball for a long time, millionaires in shorts are rare. DFB director Oliver Bierhoff has now described this reality unvarnished and, with a view to the approaching women’s European Championship tournament in England, said: “We have negotiated a prize money that is a record, but does not come close to what the men get.” When they won the 2014 World Cup, it was 300,000 euros per capita. The women are cheaper, at 60,000 they nodded.

“Is that fair?”, national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg was just asked in “Welt am Sonntag”. She thought about it and gritted her teeth, and when she couldn’t expect an answer, she said, “Some things take time.”

As with men. The thanks of the fatherland didn’t flow into their mouths in the form of roasted pigeons right from the start, and yet their eyes lit up when the presents were presented. When the heroes of Bern returned home from Switzerland by train from their World Cup triumph in 1954, the gift basket situation at the intermediate station at the Kaufbeur train station got so bad that Captain Fritz Walter later described it in a gripping way: “From the terrible coexistence of Allgäuer Cheese, porcelain figurines, ashtrays soon became a jumble of chocolates, wine bottles and cowbells.” Cologne left winger Hans Schäfer was amazed: “That such a thing exists, we shake our heads.” Everyone also got a Bavarian lion made of Nymphenburg porcelain, a fridge and a razor, and the DFB made the heroes’ happiness complete with a television set and an extra 2,500 marks.

If they become European champions, the DFB women will soon be able to buy a lot of chocolates with the 60,000 euros. The national coach is happy: “The negotiations went great.” world champion of 1974 would have licked their fingers. Many are still holding their breath because the shop almost blew up back then. Five days before the start of the World Cup, captain Beckenbauer assured DFB negotiator Hans Deckert that the team would of course become world champions, but only if the consideration was 100,000 marks per capita. “He looked at me like a bank robber,” the Emperor later recalled.

On that dark night, the DFB gradually withdrew from its offer – 30,000 marks. Around three in the morning, before he locked himself in his room, national coach Helmut Schön insulted the bearded defender Paul Breitner as a “ringleader” and “Maoist”. The later German World Cup luck was highly threatened. Goalscorer Gerd Müller ran through the quarter with the bad news: “Paul wants to leave. He packs well.” At dawn, they somehow agreed on 70,000 marks, then the bank robber Breitner scored the goal of the day in the opening game against Chile, from about 30 meters, Dreiangel, and a little later Germany was world champion. Since then there has been no bonus theater for men. “We’ll just add another 50,000, okay?” the DFB asks before each tournament, and the men then nod and slide their account numbers across the table. At the end of the year, at the World Cup in Qatar, a blank check will probably be used for the first time.

The women are not there yet. The DFB points to the lower turnover in women’s football, and a few old, white machos still talk about men’s sport: the football, the kick-off, the post, the counterattack, the shot on goal, the corner kick, the referee, all masculine. Only one thing is female: the pipe.

But the tide is turning. The women are making up ground, day by day, step by step. It started when Mehmet Scholl revealed on a talk show: “Our team bus at FC Bayern is driven by a woman.” In the meantime, even a team manager at Bayern is holding up the substitution board, more and more women are doing the TV interviews, and as Bibiana Steinhaus the intrusive one Pep Guardiola once left ice cold in the middle of the game, “Bild” cheered beam high about the blond poison of refereeing: “The strong woman in the macho league.”

The goal scorers and ball magicians are upset. Overnight, the German EM premium has increased by about forty percent compared to the last tournament, the first Ferrari is also taking shape for the women – although they used to have to walk.

Martina Voss-Tecklenburg is the best example. The writer here visited her once in the last century, when she wasn’t yet a national coach but a right-wing winger, and she threw up such a swerve as Pierre Littbarski that everyone called her “Litti”. However, she did not become rich, despite various European Championship titles and 125 international matches, not even in advertising. Once she wanted to advertise condoms with her Duisburg women at the cup final with “London” on their chests, but a few DFB men were expelled – Parisians? Yuck! – on the missing rubber paragraph and said no.

Before the 1989 European Championship, she also had the chance to be photographed as a naked gun in “Playboy”. That would have fitted into the male image of women’s football at the time, every aging macho’s mouth waters when he recalls how the ARD charmer Ernst Huberty once saw the Jamaican striker Beverly Ranger in the “Sportschau” studio after her “goal of the month” raved: “How beautiful and coffee-colored are all the women from Kingstontown.” In any case, with good reason, female soccer players kept publishing a calendar in which they were not dressed in long training pants and Norwegian sweaters.

But Martina Voss then canceled the “Playboy”, waived the 15,000 mark fee – and consoled herself with the beautiful coffee service, which the DFB then let jump for the European Championship title in 1989. “We’re on the right track,” the national coach said at the weekend about the current situation.