England and Germany will face off on Sunday evening in the final of this year’s Euro 2022 tournament.
The final is set to take place in front of a sold-out crowd of over 87,000 at Wembley Stadium on Sunday night.
Europe’s best women’s teams have competed in stadiums across England for the past three weeks and the hosts have been in top form as they made it easy to secure a place in the final thanks to a series of impressive victories against strong teams.
But the Germans are no small matter, despite the fact that the bookmakers rate them as minor underdogs before the match. They have won eight European titles so far and hope to add another ninth.
“Playing in the final against England here at Wembley, I don’t know if there will be or have been many big sporting moments,” said Germany coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg.
“This is definitely one of the greatest moments. And in addition to what we set out to do in sports, we also set out to stay on the ground and use everything that we had just been lucky enough to experience,” she added.
Meanwhile, the English Lionesses are looking to win their first major international title on home soil.
Coach Sarina Wigman noted that more is at stake than just winning.
“We want to inspire the nation,” Wigman said after the team’s victory in the semi-finals. “I think that’s what we do and we want to make a difference – and we hope that everyone will be so enthusiastic and proud of us and that more girls and boys will start playing football.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wished England good luck ahead of the Women’s European Championship final against Germany, saying on Saturday the team had shown that football is “not just for boys”.
“In any pride, it is the lionesses who ruthlessly hunt as a team and bring home their prey, and I am sure that this will be the case in Germany,” Johnson said.
Women’s football was banned from English stadiums by the Football Association from 1921 for more than half a century.
“Whatever happens at Wembley,” Johnson said, “I know that by (Monday) morning, the fields, playgrounds and parks of this country will be filled like never before with girls and women who know without a shadow of a doubt that football is not just for boys – it really is for everyone,” said the outgoing prime minister.
Despite the support of a record number of England fans in the stadium and millions of viewers watching on TV at home, the Germans remain confident that they will reach their full potential on Sunday.
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, head coach of the German national team:
“Probably Wembley originally belonged to the English,” said coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg.
“And it would be very nice if it belonged to us after all.”