People & VIPs

Interview with Alexandra Popp:

Relaxed dealing with expectations

Style PASS online: After a dry spell, it's no secret that Women's soccer - in Germany - still has a hard time in the public perception, we simply continue with a restart full of optimism and with a perfectly fitting online concept. Are you also an optimistic type?

Alexandra Popp: Yes, very much so. I am always very positive and optimistic.

Style PASS online: Style PASS does not only want to depict women's soccer, but also an attitude towards life, which means that women today are self-confident, goal-oriented, ambitious and cooperative. Style PASS has made it its theme: Especially in Germany, players are often expected to be almost superhuman: they should be physically at least as fit as the men, have an education/study on the side and always look top to sexy so that the male spectators also get their money's worth. Surely you don't want to run around in your (scarce) free time in sports clothes? Or in other words: What is your opinion on the question: Femininity versus competitive sports?

Well, I don't have the feeling that we're being told what to wear or that we should do something to make sure that men get their money's worth. We sportswomen want to feel good about ourselves, about what we do or wear. Some like it chic, some don't. For example, I love to run around in sweatpants in my free time and I don't care what people think of me.

Style PASS online: In your youth you had to compete against boys at the Sportförderschule Gelsenkirchen. How much did that influence

I started playing soccer when I was three years old - until I was 14 years old playing with boys. That time had an incredible impact on me, I learned to assert myself and of course I was able to take a lot with me in sports. The time I spent at the elite school Berger Feld and with the Schalker Boys helped me to develop extremely

Style PASS online: At the moment Schalke 04 is going downhill in the men's category. Does that hurt you, or are you only focused on women'soccer?

Of course you also look at men's soccer. I am not a Schalke fan, but FC Schalke 04 has a great tradition. So it would be very sad if this club went down the drain.

Style PASS online: You are considered to be assertive and can play on many positions. Nevertheless, what suits them best, Storm top?

I like to play in Storm top, because I think I can bring in my strengths best. But I've also slowly made friends with the six-position.

Style PASS online: You have collected a lot of titles with Wolfsburg. Championships, Cup Wins, Champions League. Are you still "hungry"?

Absolutely. If I wasn't, I wouldn't be playing soccer anymore. It's just too much fun to celebrate titles together with the team at the end of the season.

Style PASS online: You also had a lot of successes with the national team, you are Olympic champion and were U-20 world champion. What is still missing in your collection, what spurs your ambition?

Unfortunately there is still a lot missing. It would be quite nice if the world championship title and the European champion title would still be in my vita. With the Olympic victory these are the greatest successes you can achieve - and that's exactly what spurs my ambition.

Style PASS online: What about the finances? You used to work as an animal keeper in addition to soccer. Is the salary now enough to live the "good" life?

A lot has already happened at the top of the league. I can live very well from soccer. But it would be nice if this were the case in the entire women's Bundesliga.

Style PASS online: The American women soccer players are very good in terms of financial Equality already a bit further. Does that spur you and your colleagues on? In other words: Does "woman" hold together when it comes to communication with the DFB and Fifa? The DGB should not be at your side?

Of course, when it comes to negotiations, we already stick together. But you also have to look at the whole issue differently from country to country. I can only say that - as things stand now - we are on the right track in terms of professionalization, but there is still a lot to be done. And as far as equality is concerned: We are aware that in Germany it is already very much a question of supply and demand - and men's soccer is just more in demand. Unfortunately, we're lagging behind, and I think that's a social problem. Many simply don't recognize and accept women's soccer. There are always stupid comments and that really gets on my nerves.

It's not about the fact that every citizen has to like or watch women's soccer. I don't watch all sports either. But I respect and accept them and don't make stupid comments about them.

 One last question: If you look at women's soccer now from a somewhat "offbeat" level: Women are considered to be rather caring and sweet, men rather assertive. In men's soccer, people are sometimes bullied and the mother of the opponent is insulted in order to reach the goal, while women's soccer, especially in Germany, despite all its successes, still somehow seeks its place between coffee cups and ponytails. In short, from your side: What does women's soccer stand for today?

I think that women's soccer stands for honesty, passion, success orientation and fun!


The questions were asked by Style PASS editor Eva Britsch

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