Wolfsburg striker Alexandra Popp has criticised the current conditions in the Frauen-Bundesliga, labelling the professionalism and infrastructure ‘a disaster’.
Germany have traditionally enjoyed great success both internationally and domestically in women’s football, with the national team eight-time European champions, two-time World champions and Olympic gold medalists in 2016.
Germany are also the most successful nation in the Champions League, with the winner of the competition being provided by the Frauen-Bundesliga on eight occasions; Frankfurt (x4), Turbine Postam (x2), Wolfsburg (x2) and Duisburg (x1).
However Popp, who has played in the Bundesliga since 2008, was critical of the league’s conditions, and highlighted England’s WSL – where women’s teams are traditionally linked to men’s clubs – as the model to be followed.
“The professionalisation, framework conditions and infrastructure are sometimes a disaster in the Bundesliga – and we’re talking about the 1st Bundesliga,” Popp told Kicker’s FE:male Podcast. “Something has to be done.
“They (England) have taken a big step forward in the sporting and professional areas of the licensed teams that they have taken on. I do believe that in order to reach this level of professionalism, we have to take this path, which makes it extremely difficult for teams like SGS Essen or Turbine Potsdam to hold their own over a long period of time.”
Popp – who finished as the joint top scorer at Euro 2022 with six goals – has been with Wolfsburg since 2012, and recently signed a new three-year deal with the club.
Wolfsburg are one of the most successful club sides in Germany, with seven Bundesliga titles and a pair of Champions League triumphs to their name.
The She Wolves played their Champions League quarter and semi final home legs at the Volkswagen Arena during the 2021/22 season and place a great emphasis on cooperation between the men’s and women’s sides. However, Popp admitted this is not always how it feels as a player.
“We always talk about a VfL family,” she added. “To put it bluntly, it’s only spoken out loud and we don’t really work together.”