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The German national football team gears up for the Women’s World Cup with empowering, viral ad

by Kristina Völk

Ahead of the Women’s Football World Cup, which kicks off in France tomorrow, the German national team has released an advert targeting stereotypes, prejudices and anonymity within the footballing community.

In the video, which quickly went viral, the team partnered with its sponsor to point out the sexism and lack of respect they have to face on a daily basis.

The advert starts out with captain Alexandra Popp asking, “Do you know my name?”, followed by her statement that the team plays for a nation that doesn’t know their names.

The players are unknown and overlooked in their own country, even though they are members of the second best women’s football team in the world. They have won eight European Championship titles out of a possible 12 and two World Cups – including the 2003 tournament where they didn’t concede a single goal.

The advert also deals with the prejudices surrounding women’s football and addresses the abuse most players face online. The cheeky and bold puns as well as the inspirational tone of the video won plaudits from the German public and media as well as the international community.

Dealing publicly with those issues is important because the endemic sexism in women’s football in Germany results in women professional players needing to work second jobs and subjected to online abuse.

The discussion has prompted the German football association DFB to admit that they “haven’t invested enough in the marketing of their female players”.

In the last friendly match before the World Cup, Germany beat Chile two-nil, with Alexandra Popp scoring her 46th goal in her 96th game for the national team.

The win was a confidence boost for the upcoming tournament, where Germany is considered a favourite. However, the most moving scenes were seen off the pitch, where fans’ banners proclaimed they knew their idols’ names.