While football Germany is discussing the next bankruptcies of the men and the future of national coach Hansi Flick six months after the Qatar debacle, the women have been riding a wave of popularity since the European Championship. Alexandra Popp was asked whether the German soccer players could fill the vacuum left by the men’s national team with their crisis at their upcoming World Cup.

The captain spoke bluntly, as usual, of a “stupid question”. “We will only look at ourselves,” replied the 32-year-old from VfL Wolfsburg at a media round before the international match of the runners-up European champions on Saturday (6:15 p.m. / ZDF) against Vietnam in Offenbach. It is the penultimate test before the World Cup from July 20th to August 20th in Australia and New Zealand.

“I think a lot has happened since last year – especially off the pitch: more publicity, more attention, of course more reach, more encouragement. That’s why we fought for a very, very long time,” said Popp’s club colleague Svenja Huth. In addition, the tiresome topic of the World Cup TV broadcast has been clarified. At the training camp in Herzogenaurach, there was “a great deal of anticipation. The mood is good, the training is fun. It can go on like this!”

The severance dispute with FC Bayern Munich, whose players Lea Schüller, Klara Bühl, Lina Magull, Carolin Simon and Sydney Lohmann are only allowed to travel to Offenbach one day before the game, is no longer a big issue, at least from the outside. And the men’s national team? The national players don’t like comparisons that much.

“I would wish that people would talk about both of us and that the men would get out of their little low again,” explained Popp and then added: “We’re not the only ones wishing for that. I think the whole of Germany wants that. That’s why we want to become a football power in the world again together. That is the approach and claim of us and the men.”

While Flick’s team continues to weaken a year before the home European Championship, the women are under pressure to “at least have to confirm” England’s European Championship success in 2022 by reaching the final at the World Cup, as Popp said. The departure of the DFB players to Australia is scheduled for July 11th. The first group game is on July 24 in Melbourne against Morocco (10.30 a.m. CEST/ZDF), before it is against Colombia and South Korea.

Against the world number 32. Vietnam national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg hopes to gain important insights against an Asian opponent with a view to the World Cup game against South Korea. She has to do without the Wolfsburg midfield clearer Lena Oberdorf (infection). Against Zambia on July 7th (8.30 p.m. / ARD) in Fürth – as in the preliminary round against Morocco – it is against an African opponent. After this last endurance test and the second preparation in Herzogenaurach, Voss-Tecklenburg names their final squad of 23 for the tournament.

The goal for the world champions from 2003 and 2007 was Popp – of course in all clarity -: “I want to get the title, and everyone else here would like that too.” And: “It is important that we as a team show our authentic face and play passionate, good football.”