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Germany skipper Alexandra Popp named footballer of the year

August 27, 2023

The captain of Germany's women's team, Alexandra Popp, has won the title as best female player for the third time.

 Alexandra Popp in the air
Alexandra Popp (R) in action against Colombia in the World Cup in JulyImage: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

Alexandra Popp, the captain of Germany's national women's team, was crowned as the country's "Woman Footballer of the Year" for the third time on Sunday, just weeks after her team was knocked out of the group stage of the World Cup for the first time.

The title, which Popp already received in 2014 and 2016, is awarded by journalists under the banner of Kicker magazine.

She received 257 votes, thus easily beating her Wolfsburg teammate Lena Oberdorf (39) and last year's holder of the title, Lea Schüller from FC Bayern München.  

Long list of achievements

"It is a recognition of my achievements over the past 12 months. That makes me very proud," 32-year-old Popp said.

Those achievements include her performances during the 2022 UEFA European Women's Football Championship in England, with six goals to her name before she missed the final — which Germany lost to England — with an injury.

She was also a high scorer for Germany in the World Cup in Australia before her team lost to Morocco and was knocked out of the tournament, putting the ball in the net four times.

She also topped the scoring list in the 2022/2023 Bundesliga season, despite often playing midfield. Her achievement, however, did not prevent Wolfsburg from losing out to Bayern München in the finals.

Popp did express regret at Germany's performance at the World Cup, telling Kicker that it was "a great disappointment for us all and for German football."

Alexandra Popp talking before microphones
Popp's disappointment was clear to see following Germany's ousterImage: Memmler/Eibner/picture alliance

Spanish soccer scandal

The award of the title comes as women's football remains in the spotlight amid outrage at Spanish soccer chief Luis Rubiales' kissing player Jenni Hermoso on the lips during World Cup victory celebrations, an act he claims was consensual while she denies it.

 A post on Popp's Instagram account, signed by "the team council of the German women's national team," said that Rubiales' behavior "is not acceptable and what is even more not acceptable is playing it down and putting the player under pressure."

tj/ab (dpa, SID)

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