The traffic light at the intersection not far from Cologne’s Rudolfplatz showed red and the green team bus stopped. Two doors opened and VfL Wolfsburg footballers jumped out. They circled around the bus bawling, loudly chanting “VfL, VfL”.

Two players were carrying a lot of weight: captain Alexandra Popp was carrying the silver DFB trophy, Lena Oberdorf was wearing sunglasses as well as a voluminous, well-filled glass. She seemed like the official party leader, which fit well with the role of sporting leader that Oberdorf had taken on the pitch a few hours earlier in the 2-0 final against FC Bayern Munich.

“We really wanted the cup because we had a mixed season. We wanted to win the title, no matter what,” said Oberdorf on Sky after the 50th victorious Wolfsburg Cup game in a row, which also gave the club its tenth cup win. title after title. Also because Oberdorf appeared as fearless in what was, at least for now, the last big final for VfL, as he later did as a party beast at the bus party in the traffic of the congested city center.

“To achieve such a performance in a game like this with so much focus shows her class, she is world class,” praised Wolfsburg’s coach Tommy Stroot. “It’s crazy to be able to deliver such stability at such a young age, even under such focus and conditions.”

A fateful sentence

About the conditions: It has been known since mid-February that the 22-year-old midfield star is moving from Wolfsburg to Bayern in the summer. An explosive transfer. Munich paid more than 400,000 euros to challenge Lower Saxony’s exceptional position in German women’s football.

“I can’t imagine going to Bayern,” Schalke fan Oberdorf said shortly before the 2022 European Championship. “Even when Bayern played against Dortmund, I was more for Dortmund. That says it all, right?” When asked about this after the 2-0 win on Thursday, she said: “It was very special. I got a lot of media coverage.” She wouldn’t say a sentence like that anymore today: “That was my younger self when we lost with food. Today I’m mature, grown, and wouldn’t make a statement like that again.”

Given this history, she didn’t want to be accused of a lack of commitment so shortly before her departure to Munich in her 110th competitive game for VfL: “It was all the more important to me to show that I was playing for VfL Wolfsburg and that I was giving up my last shirt ” she said after a performance that justifies such sentences.

Popp: Oberdorf “free in the head”

Oberdorf won the decisive duel against Bayern’s Sarah Zadrazil, enabling Jule Brands to make it 1-0 (14th minute), and she was also present in the dangerous zone when Dominique Janssen made it 2-0 (40th). Only the 24th competitive goal for VfL was denied her, despite two good chances to crown it all.

“I am very, very impressed with how Lena Oberdorf, who is still very young, performed here today in such an important game,” praised manager Ralf Kellermann. “She was one of the best players on the pitch, with no sign at all of being nervous or that the situation was weighing on her. That was great.”

Captain Popp analyzed appreciatively: “She played a very strong game and won a lot of duels. She not only won them, but she won them forward, she was mostly involved in the offensive actions, distributed the balls and was a goal threat . It’s nice to see that she has this freedom, that she was free in her head.”

“Lena Oberdorf can play in any big club in the world”

Her future coach Alexander Straus also praised the performance as “fantastic”. In the coming season, the master coach will enjoy the privilege of being able to integrate the European vice-champion into the team. Straus’ colleague Stroot has long been certain that she will also show her top class in Munich: “Lena Oberdorf can play in any big club in the world, she has every opportunity.” On the square and in the party bus.