London 2012
Team Germany during a time out
Marcus Popp exemplified Germany's determination, but it wasn't enough to avoid a 3-0 loss to Russia
Marcus Popp participated in some World Tour events during summer in the past years, showing great attitude on the sand
German Marcus Popp here against Russia Alexander Butko
Marcus Popp of Germany spikes
Germany's players celebrate

 

Popp up the Germans

London, Great Britain, August 7, 2012 - By winning two matches in Pool B against Tunisia and Serbia, Germany got the chance to play the quarterfinals in London against the winner of Pool A, Bulgaria. It’s a good result for Germany, after they’ve qualified at the very last FIVB tournament in Berlin beating Cuba. Same thing happened on their way to Beijing. At that time the tournament was held in Düsseldorf and they managed to exclude Cuba from the Games, again.

London, Great Britain, August 7, 2012 - By winning two matches in Pool B against Tunisia and Serbia, Germany got the chance to play the quarterfinals in London against the winner of Pool A, Bulgaria. It’s a good result for Germany, after they’ve qualified at the very last FIVB tournament in Berlin beating Cuba. Same thing happened on their way to Beijing. At that time the tournament was held in Düsseldorf and they managed to exclude Cuba from the Games, again.

One of the men in Cuba’s worse nightmare is Marcus Popp. If you really understand volleyball, you realize how Marcus Popp is important for the balance of his national team. But if you don’t understand the German language, you may not get his fine jokes on the court, when he smiles and with a few words can motivate his teammates.

Popp is the man who keeps the team balanced. He is not the best attacker, so maybe from the stands the fans may cheer more for the giant Grozer. But he is the kind of player, like Priddy for USA,  that each team misses a lot when he is not 100%.

“Our victory against Serbia was great” says Popp. “I mean, they’re the European Champions, they’re a great team but we fought until the very end. We were down 2 sets and we were able to come back. For our group it was so important.”

Popp is no more the young guy of the company but the most expert together with Andrae. “Let’s say I’m the oldest, it makes it simple. I think I know better what is need and when, during the game. Your experience teaches you how to celebrate or when it’s the moment to calm down your teammates, how to manage a group of players.”

Apart from Volleyball, Marcus Popp has another big passion, which still needs a Mikasa to be performed. “I love beach volleyball, maybe I like it even more than volleyball. Who knows what will be my future, maybe I will go back to the sand one day. What I would miss than? The group. Grouping together means everything in volleyball. Playing with the club is different, it’s a bunch of athletes which changes every year, while in your national team you can play for several years with some teammates who become real friends. In my life I want to be happy. That’s why I plan year by year my next season. So in the near future I may even decide to go back to the sand. I participated in a few World Tour tournaments and I think I was good considering that I was not a full time beach volleyball player. Technics and tactics are not so different if you have good indoor skills. Being able to adapt to different weather conditions is the real challenge.”

At the end of Germany’s adventure in London, Popp will pack his things heading for France. He will play next year in Tours, after 7 seasons spent in Italy. “What I really enjoyed in volleyball is that I demonstrate myself and the fans that if I want I can reach my goals. I made it two times to the Olympics. That’s great for me. And for my country too.”

 

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Grouping together means everything in volleyball
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Additional information

The best and only position so far at the Olympic Games for men’s Germany team is their 9th place in Beijing. GDR had a medal: that was a silver in 1972. The team managed to reach a 5th place at the last World League final: a renewed business card ahead of London 2012