|Date: Sunday July 31. Venue: Wembley Stadium, London To start up: 1700 BST.|
|Cover: Watch on the BBC One and BBC Sport website, listen on BBC Radio 5 Live, live text coverage on the BBC Sport website.|
The Lionesses of England are on the brink of women’s football history as they take on Germany in the European Championship final at Wembley on Sunday.
The victory would be both the first major trophy for the England women’s team and the first footballing honor for the nation since winning the 1966 Men’s World Cup.
As well as raising awareness for the team, a victory should also propel women’s football in England to new heights.
But Germany, who have won the competition eight times, are once again standing in the way. They beat England 6-2 in the Euro 2009 final, the last time they faced each other at the tournament.
The match is expected to be sold out at Wembley, which has a capacity of 87,200 for the Euros, with kick-off at 5:00 p.m. BST.
There is BBC TV, radio and online coverage, with millions expected to watch the match on the BBC.
The semi-final drew a peak TV audience of 9.3 million. England’s World Cup semi-final against the United States in 2019 holds the British record for women’s football with 11.7 million views on the BBC.
Both teams were the best teams in the tournament, each conceding just one goal, and showed their class to reach the showpiece at Wembley.
The Lionesses vindicated their status as pre-tournament favorites with a 4-0 semi-final defeat of second-ranked Sweden, while Euro-come Germany as a somewhat unknown quantity, edged France 2-1.
What is England’s record against Germany?
Not great, but then we called their record against Sweden ‘shocking’ and things didn’t go too badly in the semis.
But England will have to rewrite the record books once again if they are to triumph in the capital.
They have won just two of 27 meetings against Germany – although one of them came when they last met in February.
England have lost more games (21) against the Germans than any other side, having lost all four of their previous European Championship meetings.
“These are the games you live for,” England captain Leah Williamson said.
“It’s a fairy tale game with history behind it. I think we have the two teams that had the best tournaments in the final.
“Nobody ever has a home game where they don’t have an advantage. It’s our home stadium so it’s familiar to us and the support we’ve had so far has been amazing. It’s an exciting thought that we have this on our side. ”
Data analysts Nielsen Gracenote give England a 52% chance of success due to home advantage, saying Germany would have a 55% chance of winning on neutral ground.
However, Germany have a history of spoiling England’s party in both women’s and men’s games.
Manager Martina Voss-Tecklenburg said: “At first Wembley will be English and hopefully it will be ours in the end.
“We want to play our game, be brave, aggressive, give everything, play as a team. It has worked well so far. »
Battle of the Bosses – Wiegman v Voss-Tecklenburg
The story is waiting to be written by Sarina Wiegman and Voss-Tecklenburg.
England boss Wiegman’s record is formidable, winning all 11 games she has managed at the Euros. She led the Netherlands to an unlikely home triumph five years ago.
She is looking to repeat the feat with England on this occasion, becoming in turn the first coach to win the tournament with two different teams.
Wiegman’s record since taking charge of England is also almost faultless, unbeaten in 19 games, with just two draws.
Meanwhile, German coach Voss-Tecklenburg will become the second woman, after former teammate Silvia Neid, to win the competition as a player and coach.
After winning the 2009 Champions League with Duisburg, she is also aiming to become the first manager to win Europe’s top club and national team competitions.
- Wiegman – by those who know her well
- England Camp Update
Golden shoe to be won
It’s not just the European champions who will be decided on Sunday. The same will be true for the winner of the Golden Boot, with two leading players battling it out for the prize.
England striker Beth Mead and veteran Germany striker Alexandra Popp have led the way in front of goal, both scoring six of their five appearances so far.
Mead scored an unforgettable hat-trick in Norway’s 8-0 defeat, while Popp set the record by becoming the first player to score in five consecutive Euro matches.
The Wolfsburg striker is looking to become the second player, after Frenchman Michel Platini in 1984, to score in every European Championship game.
Arsenal’s Mead are aiming to equal Alan Shearer’s English record of seven goals scored in a single Euro tournament since 1996.
If both players finish on the same number of goals, it will come down to assists and Mead will be ahead on that front as it is, with four goals for her teammates.
These euros broke all attendance records.
Before the final, the tournament’s total attendance of 487,683 exceeded the previous record for a European Women’s Championship. In fact, the previous record of 240,055 was surpassed in the group stage.
The tournament opener at Old Trafford broke the individual attendance record for the Women’s Euro, with 68,871 at Old Trafford.
The final risks going even further and breaking the record for the men’s or women’s Euros. The 1964 men’s final between Spain and the Soviet Union was watched by 79,115 spectators at the Bernabeu. Last year’s Euro 2020 final between the men of England and Italy was capped at 67,173 amid Covid restrictions.
The success of the tournament itself and England is partly due to increased investment from the Football Association and the Women’s Super League in previous years.
“Whatever happens in the final, if the girls are not allowed to play football at PE like the boys, what do we do? » asked Ian Wright after winning the semi-finals.
“It will inspire a lot of people. If there is no legacy after that, like with the Olympics, what do we do? Girls should be able to play. »
The FA’s target, in its Euro 2022 Legacy Report, is for 75% of schools to provide equal access for girls to play football in physical education classes by 2024. Only 63% girls currently have the same access to football as boys.
Regarding the success of the tournament, she said, “I hope it will spread wonderful feelings of hope and happiness throughout the nation.
“Legacy actually starts before a tournament. I think most people think it’s something that happens after a tournament, but we’ve been working on some really good legacy plans. »
Karen Bardsley was on the bench the last time England reached a major final at Euro 2009, when they lost 6-2 to Germany.
She said: “I don’t think people realize the impact this is going to have on women’s football in this country. In five or 10 years, this will become the norm. »
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- How do the Lionesses relax between games? : Come and visit the English base camp for Euro 2022