Ann-Katrin Berger: Birmingham City Ladies goalkeeper diagnosed with thyroid cancer

Ann-Katrin Berger in the 2017 Women's FA Cup final
Ann-Katrin Berger kept goal in the Women's FA Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley in May

Birmingham City Ladies goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

The 27-year-old German is to have surgery in December.

"Initially we were all devastated on hearing the news about Ann," said Blues manager Marc Skinner.

"However, when we sat down together and discussed the situation almost instantly Ann eradicated the fear and uncertainty. She is one of the strongest people I have ever met."

He added: "The way she conducts herself daily is a true inspiration to all of us.

"I have total belief that Ann will beat this illness and strive to be back playing again in the future."

Berger, who won the German League with Potsdam in 2012, is in her second year with the Blues after signing in June 2016 from Paris St-Germain, with whom she played in the Champions League final in 2015.

She has played in two finals for Birmingham City Ladies, the Continental Cup in 2016 and in the FA Cup this year, both of which ended in defeat by Manchester City Women.

Birmingham City chief executive Xuandong Ren said: "Ann is part of our Blues family. We will help her in every possible way to come through this and return to what she loves doing."

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