dpatopbilder - 29.07.2022, Großbritannien, Watford: Fußball: Nationalmannschaft, Frauen, EM 2022, Pressekonferenz Deutschland, The Grove Hotel: Deutschlands Alexandra Popp (l) trägt einen aufgeklebten Schnauzer aus Kinesiotape. Foto: Sebastian Gollnow/dpa - WICHTIGER HINWEIS: Gemäß den Vorgaben der DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga bzw. des DFB Deutscher Fußball-Bund ist es untersagt, in dem Stadion und/oder vom Spiel angefertigte Fotoaufnahmen in Form von Sequenzbildern und/oder videoähnlichen Fotostrecken zu verwerten bzw. verwerten zu lassen. +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

The other day, after Alexandra Popp scored her two goals against the French in the semifinals, I caught myself thinking about what kind of car she drives. I only remembered a short snippet of film in which she was out and about with a wheelbarrow – after all, she is a trained animal keeper. Hmm, I thought – what else? Who is she in a relationship with, does she have children? Which stately mansion does she call her own?

The interviews with her didn’t give me any further information either – always very football-related, friendly and polite, even right after the game, happy and humorous. Then I thought about the commercial in which I had last seen her or one of her colleagues from the German women’s national team. couldn’t remember But one thing is absolutely clear: For you and your teammates, football has been your passion from an early age and you are also proud to represent the nation. Which is not least manifested in the fact that they sing along to the national anthem in a pleasantly melodic way.

Otherwise they come across as extremely unpretentious. A nice counterpart to the so-called gamer women who watch elsewhere, who often look like a trophy of the respective husband or friend, the main thing is the model. You can of course research the players on the Internet or watch the documentary “Born for this” to find out something about their biography and their thoughts.

And suddenly a few things seem familiar to me because, like almost every woman in a certain phase of life, I have been busy with one or the other: How do I get ahead professionally and do I want to become a mother and if so, when? Combining the two is a challenge, all the more so in sport, because here physical performance is limited in time. As is the ability to get pregnant. So everything is kind of normal. And yet crucial.

A lot has been written about women’s football and women in sport in recent times and it has been said that all of this is important and necessary, I won’t go into it here. What I will remember from this summer when it comes to outstanding sport is, firstly, a wealthy German tennis player from Florida (“Tennis-Mama”), who repeatedly emphasized, whether asked or not, that being a mother was more than for her everything suits. She could also have emphasized how important it was to her and the will it took to get herself in top shape again after the pregnancy. Which is hereby proven.

And then the “soccer girls”, who confidently, empathetically and sympathetically take care of their national and private challenges – without diva-like bitching, even if they had to accept defeat. They obviously don’t take themselves as seriously as they do their jobs. I can only hope that it stays that way, even if women’s salaries are brought into line with men’s. But there is still a very long way to go until then.

Until then, I’m looking forward to seeing more performances by “Poppi”, which are less glamorous but humorous. And suddenly I imagine – for whatever reason – Toni Kroos with earrings or make-up.