All roads lead to the national team. Or something like that could describe Patrick Polk’s relationship with German footballers. He knows captain Alexandra Popp from playing football and is a very good friend, Lena Oberdorf is the sister of an ex-teammate, he studied sports science with Linda Dallmann and he knows Sara Doorsoun from his time at SG Wattenscheid 09. That makes it obvious that Polk is traveling to Wembley on Sunday to watch the big final against England.
Fans have to dig a little deeper into their pockets for this, as research by the “Betting Friends” platform revealed. The total price is around 1266 euros if you travel from Berlin to the final in London, including accommodation and meals.
Polk was there for the semi-final against France – a pretty spontaneous decision. “Poppi had the opportunity to get more tickets and of course we set off straight away.” The eight of them drove off in Dortmund on Wednesday morning in the Bulli, took the ferry across and reached London around noon. However, there was not much time to add a sightseeing tour. “We once walked through a shopping mall in Milton Keynes and had a bite to eat there. But that’s it,” says. “We sat on the ferry or in the car much longer than we were there.”
Polk, who himself played in the regional league for several years, knows Popp from football. When he played for VfL Bochum in his youth, she was at the Berger Feld comprehensive school and then played for FCR 2001 Duisburg. that was twelve years ago, but we have remained in very good contact – even though she is now playing in Wolfsburg.”
Polk and his travel group supported Popp on her difficult road to the European Championship. The 31-year-old suffered a serious knee injury last year and only returned to the field in January. During preparation for the European Championship, she also caught Corona. “It was always her big goal to play this European Championship and she gave everything for that.” It was therefore very emotional to see her on the pitch. “We all had goosebumps and tears in our eyes when we walked in, because we knew what a long and hard road of suffering she had to go through. She’s a roly-poly.”
The fact that Popp had not lost her sense of humor despite all the challenges was shown on Friday afternoon when she suddenly showed up at the press conference with her mustache glued on and her baseball cap turned inside out. In doing so, she took up a joke in the satirical magazine “Postillons”, which had headlined a few days earlier “Flick nominates newcomer Alexander Papp for national team”. “We just want to have fun with what’s happening on social media,” said Popp. “I do believe that the mood here in the team is right.”
With his enthusiasm for the German national team, Patrick Polk infected some people around him who have now also become “Poppi fans”. The European Championship plays a big role in his team, and many of his colleagues watch the games regularly. “The players are extremely good at promoting women’s football. Finishing the group stage 9-0 was a real feat and a real exclamation mark.”
So on Sunday Polk will not only appear as a friend of Popp and Co, but also as a fan of the team. The biggest challenge for him and his fellow passengers will probably be to arrive at the sold-out stadium against the force of English fans. “We Germans will have no voice at the end of the day.”
Polk not only relies on his own voice, but also on the inner strength of the team, which has impressively pushed itself in the past games. In the semifinals, he sat in the second row, directly behind the German bench, and observed “that the entire staff was emotionally charged and supported the team in the best possible way.” Germany could benefit from this mentality again on Sunday. And as we all know, there are many ways to a title.