England could win their first major title in women’s football if they look to defeat old opponents Germany in the Euro 2022 final on Sunday.
At the Wembley game, the Lionesses will be looking for the first silverware, with their opponents having won the Women’s Euro no fewer than eight times.
England boss Sarina Wiegman knows how to win the competition after leading her native Holland to glory five years ago, and here the PA news agency looks at the build-up.
Leah strives to make a lasting impression
Whilst Sunday’s final could be a huge step forward in support of women’s football in England, captain Leah Williamson is hoping for a much wider impact.
The Arsenal defender will lead the Lionesses in aiming to use their newfound stature to achieve equality in society as a whole.
“What we’ve already seen in the tournament is that it’s not just a change for women’s football but for society in general, it’s about how we’re viewed,” she said.
“The finale is not the end of a journey, but the beginning of one. And regardless of the end result, there will be a nice moment to think. Of course my job is to play 90 minutes and win, but if we look back at this tournament as a whole, we really started something. I want tomorrow to be the beginning, a guide to the future.
“I’ve only been in this football workplace so far, but in most workplaces around the world, women still have a few struggles to go through that they’re trying to overcome. For every success we achieve, for every change in judgment or perception, or the opening of the eyes of someone who now sees women as someone with the potential to be equal to their male counterpart, it can bring about change in society. “
Voss-Tecklenburg wants women’s football to take a step forward
National coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg believes that a “dream” final provides the necessary platform to take women’s football to the next level.
After finishing top of Group B, Voss-Tecklenburg’s side beat Austria in the quarter-finals and France in the round of 16 to take on the hosts at Wembley.
With tickets selling out and a huge TV audience expected, Voss-Tecklenburg believes the showdown presents an ideal opportunity to expand the sport even further.
“(Women’s football) will only win if everything that happens in Europe with Germany and England has a lasting end,” said the national coach.
“Something has to go on, this has to be a chance for all countries to take the next steps for women’s football – if not now, then when?”
Golden Boot contender
The competition’s top scorers meet at Wembley, Beth Mead and Alexandra Popp each having six goals and could easily dictate who succeeds on Sunday night.
Mead has returned from Olympic exile to England, where the Arsenal forward enjoyed a good tournament.
Popp has a history of injuries but is enjoying the 2022 finals, scoring twice in Germany’s semi-final win over France.
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Final: England v Germany (5pm, Wembley Stadium, London)
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/england-germany-leah-williamson-sarina-wiegman-alexandra-popp-b2134920.html England are looking to make history against old opponents Germany in the Euro 2022 final