DFB Women: Popp before the playoff: “Saving face”

Captain Alexandra Popp took her team to task before the German footballers' important international match against the Netherlands in Heerenveen.

DFB Women: Popp before the playoff: “Saving face”

Captain Alexandra Popp took her team to task before the German footballers' important international match against the Netherlands in Heerenveen.

"We know what it's about. It's not just about qualifying for the Olympics, but about saving your own face," said the 32-year-old from VfL Wolfsburg at the final press conference.

The selection of interim national coach Horst Hrubesch must win the game in the game for third place in the Nations League against the Oranje team this Wednesday (8:45 p.m./ZDF) in order to take part in the Olympic Games in Paris in the summer. The DFB women lost their first chance of getting a ticket to the Olympics with the 2-1 defeat against France last Friday in Lyon.

Missing out on taking part in the summer games would be another serious setback for the German Football Association six months after the World Cup debacle in Australia with the elimination in the preliminary round. "To put it bluntly, we're already used to it. Every game is fraught with pressure," said Popp, who won Olympic gold in Rio in 2026, and emphasized: "We just want to get it on the record tomorrow, we have to do it bring the record."

Test match victory in 2023

The German national team won a test match in Sittard 1-0 against the Netherlands in 2023 - but they were very lucky. Goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger “extremely saved the players’ butts,” said Popp. Basically, she admitted that the European vice-champions have had difficulties in away games in the recent past.

"We know that home games always feel nicer with many, many fans behind us. But it shouldn't affect us," said Germany's "Footballer of the Year". "We just have to learn that: how to deal with it when 20,000, 25,000 are against you."

According to Hrubesch, all players are fit. "We shook each other once, shook each other again yesterday. Now we have prepared ourselves for tomorrow's game," said the 72-year-old, whose term in office would end immediately if he missed participation in Paris.

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