Alexandra Popp’s debut as captain of the Germany women’s team has been postponed. The striker will miss the game against France in Laval (Thursday 28th February, 21:00 CET) due to a muscle problem. However, she’s still very close to the team and spoke to DFB.de about the first international fixture of the calendar year.
DFB.de: You can only watch tonight due to injury. Is that more difficult than playing yourself?
Alexandra Popp: Definitely, I’d obviously rather be playing. I’ll still be engrossed and I’ll try to support the team as best I can from the outside.
DFB.de: It’s not an easy situation...
Popp: Yeah, it’s obviously a real shame. I travelled from Wolfsburg with a pulled hamstring so we didn’t want to take any risks looking towards the rest of the season and the World Cup. It was important for Martina (Voss-Tecklenburg, Germany head coach) and I that I be here for our first game.
DFB.de: Even if you’re not on the pitch, how does it feel to now be officially captain of the side?
Popp: It’s obviously a great honour and recognition that Martina has put her trust in Svenja Huth and I. In principle, there’s not much different. I’ve taken on responsibility before.
DFB.de: What expectations does the new head coach have of you as captain? What has she said along the way?
Popp: Basically I need to carry on what I’ve been doing up to now. I’m also kind of the link between the players and the coaching team. But I have to be careful not to get ahead of myself in certain situations. It’s a new phase for me, and I’ll definitely develop further. I feel ready to do it.
DFB.de: The team is now going into their second game under Martina Voss-Tecklenburg. Do you feel as though you’re on the right track?
Popp: The team are definitely working well in training. Everyone’s showing that they want to play. Everyone finds Martina’s clear methods good, and the fact that she pays attention to detail in training and gives direct feedback.
DFB.de: Birgit Prinz has been recruited as a sports psychologist. How was it seeing her again? You were both in the squad for the World Cup in 2011...
Popp: It’s very funny; we took a trip down memory lane at first. It’s super that this opportunity presented itself. She just knows what she’s talking about and has got through a lot of pressure situations in her career. Now that she’s there for us, we can go to her at any time and speak to her.###more###