“Happy and proud”

Alexandra Popp has won the kicker goalscorer of the year award for the first time.

VfL-Wolfsburg-Spielerin Alexandra Popp hält mit Grafite die Torjägerinnen-Kanone in den Händen.

For the first time in what has been a long and successful career, Alexandra Popp has ended the season as Women’s Bundesliga top scorer, with 16 goals. One of the first people to congratulate her after her team-mates was Grafite, a VfL legend who was Bundesliga top scorer himself with 28 goals when the men's team won the title in 2009.

The Brazilian was on hand to watch VfL Women win their home game against SC Freiburg (2-1), and that gave rise to a photo opportunity for two players who have each written a chapter in VfL history. The 32-year-old women’s captain told us in an interview just what the award means to her and why her goals did not end up leading to another German league title.

Alexandra Popp, what did Grafite say when he congratulated you?

Alexandra Popp: “He said that it was an honour to win this award. And that it was pretty cool!”

And how do you see it?

Alexandra: “Well I’d never won it before, and so I’m happy, proud and excited about it. First and foremost, I have to thank the rest of my team. The other players are the ones with the assists who put me in really good positions and enable me to score goals, so this awards belongs to them as well.”

Your 16 goals were enough to see you crowned top scorer but not to win the league title. Why was that the case?

Alexandra: “We were in control of our destiny for long periods but then there were two matches that we simply couldn’t afford to lose – against Hoffenheim and then away to Frankfurt. And you have to say that Bayern were in the right place to take advantage of when we stumbled.  And so with that in mind, you just have to say ‘well done Bayern’.”

The hunt for silverware is not over for the season, however – next week, you play in the Champions League final against Barcelona. How hopeful are you of bringing that amazing trophy back from Eindhoven?

Alexandra: “We’re really hopeful. I think that we should be capable of getting a result out of this match. What’s important for us is to make the most of the next couple of days to recuperate as well as we possibly can and get our batteries recharged to the absolute maximum. And then after that, we need to give it everything we’ve got and hopefully we’ll be the ones lifting the trophy at the end of the evening.”