Popp insists the accolade is “not my priority” but both she and Mead will have an added incentive to get on the scorers list at Wembley
Popp appeared at the pre-game press conference sporting a fake mustache, amid jokes at home that her name might as well be ‘Alexander’ and solve the ongoing men’s team forward conundrum.
Alexandra Popp hasn’t lost her sense of humor despite the “whole story of suffering” with injuries that almost denied her the chance to take part in the European Championships.
The unlikely star of Germany’s run to the final is playing at her first Euros and is still in position to win the Golden Boot, although she will compete with England’s Beth Mead for the prize at the Showpiece at Wembley.
But despite her impact on the tournament, she insists the individual award is “not my priority”.
“My priority is to win the euro,” she said. “If I have the chance to crown the title with it, that would be nice – but if it doesn’t happen, then I’m still happy.”
Both Popp and Mead have scored six goals so far, although the Arsenal forward has also recorded three assists. Popp enjoyed greater consistency, scoring a goal in every game and sending Germany past France with a brace in the semis.
Mead’s record was enhanced by a hat-trick in the 8-0 win over Norway in the group stage, while she also scored in the opening 1-0 win over Austria. Her other two goals came against Northern Ireland and Sweden.
Remarkably, Alessia Russo is still in contention – although she would need a hat-trick in the final and is unlikely to start – despite not yet being in the starting XI at this championship. The Manchester United striker has scored four goals, all off the bench, her daring heel-heel against Sweden being the best of them all.
Before the tournament, Ellen White and Marie-Antoinette Katoto were the favorites for the Golden Boot. White was relatively quiet in front of goal, with just one brace against Norway, while Katoto’s summer ended prematurely with a cruciate ligament injury.
The same goes for another early favourite, Alexia Putellas, while Lea Schuller – whose place in the German spotlight has been taken by Popp – missed the early stages with Covid. Vivianne Miedema also missed two games after positive tests, with the Netherlands eliminated in the quarter-finals.