What happens after the EM hype?: Women's football is going into its most important game

New attention, new opportunities, new goals: Alexandra Popp and Co.

What happens after the EM hype?: Women's football is going into its most important game

New attention, new opportunities, new goals: Alexandra Popp and Co. absolutely want to use the EM tailwind for the often gray everyday life. In less than a year it's about the world title. The dawn of women's football should be sustainable beforehand.

After countless autographs and selfies, the DFB captain finally felt like a pop(p)star. "We didn't have such a setting during a training session, even at the home World Cup in 2011," marveled Alexandra Popp after the public session in the Frankfurt stadium at Brentanobad in front of more than 2,000 fans. The European Championship heroines experienced up close what triggered their triumphal procession to the unfortunate lost final in Wembley a little over a month ago. But the experienced leader doesn't quite trust the roast yet. It is also an open question for them whether the hype will really continue.

"We hope for sustainability that this isn't another flash in the pan - a month or two after the European Championship it's on and then everything flies again," warned the 31-year-old from double winner VfL Wolfsburg: "We hope that people come in large numbers to the Bundesliga stadiums to help drive the wave forward." She wants to do her part. Not only in the national team, which has to bag participation in the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in the upcoming qualifying games. Popp recently extended her contract with VfL, which expires next summer, until 2025.

The 119-time national player enjoys the undreamt-of EM tailwind. "We really found each other as a team at this tournament. There's still a lot of potential for development, if you can tackle new goals with the team, it's just great fun." Even if a victory from the compulsory tasks in Turkey (Saturday, 2.45 p.m. / ZDF) and in Bulgaria (Tuesday, 6.30 p.m. / ARD One) is still missing: Of course, thoughts are already revolving around the next title hunt in summer 2023.

"We'll have another World Cup in just under a year. That's good for us and for the overall development of our football," said national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, because: "We've made it our goal to remain in people's minds for the long term." In unison, the players finally want more fans in everyday Bundesliga life. "I'd be happy to continue like this," said Frankfurt defender Sara Doorsoun, looking at the great enthusiasm in the stands at Eintracht's home ground.

"We do our best on the pitch and we have to work just as well off the field," said the 30-year-old. Highlight games in big stadiums like the opening match between Eintracht and FC Bayern on September 16 are supposed to strengthen the EURO pull effect, but there is a lot of work ahead. "That doesn't happen by itself either, we all have to do our part," warned Voss-Tecklenburg. The 54-year-old is also hoping for increasing numbers among club members and more interest in coaching tasks for women and girls.

In their everyday lives, the players notice changes that give hope. "I've never been recognized as often as in the last four weeks," said Bayern Munich midfielder Lina Magull proudly. "It doesn't matter where you are, on the train, at the airport, in the city, in Austria. That's awesome."

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