JustAlexandra Popp celebrates the second goal of the semi-final against France. JOHN SIBLEY (Portal)
After scoring her first three goals at the European Championship, Germany’s Alex Popp (Witten, 31) received all the header congratulations from Horst Hrubesch, the “Header Beast”. One of those Panzerstormers, tall and blond, who stirred up fear of German violence in the 1970s and 1980s. The 71-year-old had briefly led Popp with the national team and felt the power of nostalgia as he watched his ex-pupil blast rivals through the air like he did.
En route to the final against England (6pm, La 1) German history was the story of Poppi, as he is known in the dressing room, scoring six goals, four of them with a header to the delight of Hrubesch and topping the killers’ table Britain’s Beth Mead, with whom he will fight at Wembley this Sunday.
The Wolfsburg striker and footballing standard in his country (119 international matches and 59 goals) suddenly benefited from a global calamity like the pandemic after several personal hardships. Two injuries had kept her away from continental tournaments in 2013 and 2017, and in early 2021 the cartilage in her right knee ruptured. Once again, the European Championship would have been lost if it hadn’t been for the Covid-related postponement to 2022. Even so, it took him 11 months to return to the fields, and for a time it was not at all clear that he would make it. When he scored the fourth goal on his debut against Denmark, he came off the bench and couldn’t help but get on his knees and almost cry. “I felt like a lot of people had written me off. Winning this battle against my injuries, and that’s the right word, makes me very proud,” he said. Three-time champion of champions, eight-time German champion and Olympic champion in Rio, Popp still had a lot planned.
He actually attended the appointment with the replacement poster. Coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, most recently a midfielder at Wolfsburg, still sees her as a striker and has included her on the list as an alternative to striker Lea Schüller. The coach knows her well. He aimed it at Duisburg in his early days, where he had to warn him to lose weight.
That was his first leveling experience. She always played with boys until she was 14 and then attended a football school in Gelsenkirchen in the Ruhr area, where she is from. There he began raising a small amount of money, which he shipped home to support the family economy after his parents’ butcher shop had to close.
Every game has hit the bull’s eye at this European Championship, the first player to score in five games in the history of the tournament. In the second game against Spain, she prevailed as starter and captain through Schüller’s corona positive, conquered the position of Patri Guijarro in a corner and set the set (2: 0) with a height of 1.73. His Confirmation in England. Nobody took him out of the eleven and nobody could stop this animal lover (she worked in a zoo) with two goals in the semifinals against France.
Perhaps it comes down to the Chinese character tattoo on his left foot: “Power, Hope and Strength”.
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