After hanging up her boots at the age of 28, former Germany international Josephine Henning has now turned her attention to the creative arts. One of her works has just gone on display in Zurich: the “Meant to Bond” sculpture fashioned by the Olympic gold medallist and European champion is featuring in the permanent exhibition at the FIFA World Football Museum from March 10 to May 15, 2020.
Henning’s sculpture captures all of the facets that make up the unique atmosphere of a World Cup: excitement, tension, desire, creativity, and the will to succeed. “The aim of every team is to create a powerful unit that combines the strengths of the individual personalities. No nation and culture are the same, but when they come together, they create an interconnected world where everyone respects each other and anything is possible,” says the former defender, who appeared at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.
Made from 50 pairs of football boots that Henning collected from fellow players all over the world, along with a pair of goalkeeper’s gloves and a ball, the 1.7-metre-high sculpture is dedicated to her love of women’s football and the power of team spirit. As she explains, “What you see at first glance is the body of a female player, but when you look more closely, you realise there is much more to it than that.” As well as admiring the sculpture, museum visitors can watch a making-of video showing Henning in the process of bringing her creation to life.
“We’re delighted to be demonstrating once again how football and art can come together. Josephine Henning’s sculpture in our exhibition embodies how emotions are expressed and how, both consciously and subconsciously, human connections are created, which is something that female players experience intensely week in, week out,” says Marco Fazzone, Managing Director of the FIFA World Football Museum. “From our perspective, “Meant to Bond” gives us a great opportunity to present an object that was created by a footballer who has played at the highest level. Every single piece of this sculpture has an individual story behind it that is alive with emotion and a spirit of togetherness.”
Henning won the UEFA Women’s EURO 2013 in Sweden as well as the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament 2016 in Rio de Janeiro with Germany. At club level, she won the UEFA Women’s Champions League four times with three different clubs (Turbine Potsdam, VfL Wolfsburg and Olympique Lyon), has four Bundesliga winner’s medals to her name and was a German Cup winner in 2013.