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Euro 2022: It’s come home! Lionesses deliver England’s first major trophy since 1966 | UK News

England are waking up as the champions of Europe after the Lionesses delivered the country’s first major trophy since 1966.

There were euphoric scenes nationwide last night after the squad beat Germany 2-1 in extra time – with 87,000 supporters at a packed-out Wembley Stadium cheering them on, not to mention millions more at home.

And later today, thousands of fans are set to join in the celebrations at an event in Trafalgar Square, where the team will take part in a live Q&A and lift the Euro 2022 trophy.

Sarina Wiegman has described the victory as an incredible achievement – and her players couldn’t resist storming into the press conference, singing “football’s coming home” at the top of their lungs and dancing on the table.

The England manager, who has won plaudits for her composure throughout the tournament, revealed she had a beer for the first time in years during the celebrations – and plans to take a little time off before beginning preparations for next year’s World Cup.

She thanked the nation for their support, and admitted: “I will need a couple of days to realise what we have done.”

It’s been a flawless journey for the Lionesses – and not only did they score the most goals ever in this tournament, but they only conceded two.

There’s now a firm belief that England’s fairy-tale ending could transform women’s football in the years to come – sparking renewed interest in the game among fans and players alike.

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Fans roar as Lionesses win Euros

“I think these tournaments have done so much for the game but also for society and women in society in England but also across Europe and the world,” Wiegman added.

The Queen also highlighted the significance of the Lionesses’ achievement in a statement, telling the team: “Your success goes far beyond the trophy you have so deservedly earned. You have all set an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations.

“It is my hope that you will be as proud of the impact you have had on your sport as you are of the result today.”

Read more:
PM, Spice Girls and Three Lions react to Euro 2022 victory
Tears, cheers and jubilation: England’s historic win in pictures

England’s win is ‘life-changing’

Sky’s Adele Robinson described the atmosphere at Wembley Stadium as electric, with one little girl spontaneously screaming: “It was amazing.”

And the girl’s father was in tears too, telling us: “I’ve been watching for the last 40 years and I’ve never seen England win a final. It means so much, it’s enormous. It’s why we wanted to make sure our daughter came and saw.”

The crowd was full of smiles and singing – with children wearing flags as capes. One teenager with “Lionesses” written on her midriff said England’s win felt “life-changing”.

One six-year-old with the England flag painted across her cheeks simply said: “Thank you, that was awesome.”

Chloe Kelly celebrates scoring England's second goal
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Chloe Kelly celebrates scoring England’s second goal

A nail-biting finale

Ella Toone gave England the lead in the 62nd minute with a sublime lob after being sent through one-on-one with the German goalkeeper.

The Lionesses were unable to hold on as Germany’s Lina Magull scored a flick-on at the near post in the 79th minute.

But England prevailed in extra time as Chloe Kelly poked home from close range after Germany failed to clear a corner.

England wins

Beth Mead won the Golden Boot after finishing the tournament with six goals – 12 months after she was left out of Team GB’s Olympic squad for the Tokyo Games.

“I can’t believe it,” she said. “Sometimes football puts you down but bouncing back is the best way and that is what we have done.

“I am so, so proud of this team. I love this team and I love this country.”

Euro 2022: ‘We don’t fear anyone’ – England aim to make football history in front of record crowd | UK News

England’s Lionesses will be aiming to make football history when they take on Germany in the Euro 2022 final at Wembley later today.

The home side, who could land their first major trophy, are underdogs – Germany have won the title eight times, as well as 21 of the 27 meetings between the two teams.

But England did triumph the last time the teams played each other in February – and since Sarina Wiegman took over as coach in September, they have played 19 games and won 17 of them.

Speaking late last night, Wiegman said that – despite the pressure – there is a sense of calm within her squad. She added: “When you reach a final, then you’re one of the best teams in the tournament. I think we have a very good team too, and we don’t fear anyone.

“I think it has been really calm around the team – I think that worked really well. So we just went back to the hotel where we are staying and did the training sessions again, did recovery there and the things we have to do to get prepared.”

When asked if the women could win and make up for the men’s team’s Euros defeat at the hands of Italy in the final last year, she said: “I don’t think we should compare men and women – it’s just one England.

“I don’t think there is any difference.”

England’s men have never won a European football championship and their last major tournament victory was the World Cup in 1966.

Regarding the German women’s team, Wiegman said: “I think at some point it might be a little physical – Germany can play very direct, physical and straightforward. That’s what we expect.”

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England manager Sarina Wiegman: ‘We don’t fear anyone’

Record crowd expected

Around 90,000 fans are expected at Wembley this evening – a record for a Euros final.

The previous record was set in 1964 at the men’s final as 79,115 fans watched Spain host the Soviet Union.

Last year’s men’s final between England and Italy at Wembley was watched by 67,000, although that crowd was smaller due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

An RAF flypast is planned just before the 5pm kick-off today, led by a C-130 Hercules crewed by three women, accompanied by two Typhoon fighter jets.

Hercules captain Flight Lieutenant Lauren, who has been in the RAF for 12 years, said: “I’ve flown missions all over the world with the RAF but this will be one of the most memorable.

“It has been inspiring to watch the Lionesses progress and I will be loudly cheering them on as soon as I land back at RAF Brize Norton.”

Read more:
How Sarina Wiegman’s ruthless European style has changed England’s fortunes
Lionesses ready for ‘fairytale’ final against Germany, says captain Leah Williamson
How England’s Lionesses found the perfect blend to reach Sunday’s final

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‘The fans are going to be our twelfth man… Woman. Damn!’

‘A summer of fantastic memories’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has written a letter to the England team, wishing them the best of luck.

He told them: “Your passion for the game, your tenacity in tricky spots, and above all your astounding talent on the pitch have already created a summer of fantastic memories for millions of us.

“You can see it in the sold-out stadia, in the packed fan zones, in the small children dancing wildly to Sweet Caroline and the TV viewing figures that have seen records crumbling almost as comprehensively as Sweden’s defence did in the semi-final.

“In any pride it is the Lionesses who ruthlessly hunt as a team and bring their prize back home – and I am sure that will be the case against Germany.”

And Mr Johnson wrote that – no matter the outcome – “the pitches and playgrounds and parks of this country will be filled as never before with girls and women who know beyond any shadow of a doubt that football is not just for boys, it really is for everyone”.

His message ended: “That is all down to you and what you have already achieved. And so, when the referee’s whistle blows tonight, I hope that you are every bit as proud of yourselves as England is of you.”

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer said to the players: “As a parent, I know how vital it is to see strong, successful role models in sport.

“What you and your team have accomplished this summer will not just be celebrated as a great moment for English football but as one that encouraged and inspired young women like my own daughter.”

Sir Keir attended the Lionesses’ semi-final victory over Sweden on Tuesday and said it would “live long in the memory”.

He added: “It’s coming home!”

Euro 2022: Lionesses ready for ‘fairytale’ final against Germany, says captain Leah Williamson | UK News

Lionesses captain Leah Williamson has described Sunday’s Euro 2022 final against Germany as a “fairytale fixture” and a “day of opportunity”.

Williamson appeared alongside England coach Sarina Wiegman in a news conference ahead of the final on home soil at a sold-out Wembley Stadium.

The pair shared excitement for the match which Wiegman said will be “tough” for both teams.

“I think the pressure is on both teams and we both have very good squads. I think it will be a very tight game, it will be exciting,” Wiegman added.

Victory in Sunday’s match will see the Lionesses end England’s 56-year wait for a major tournament title, something neither senior team has done since the 1966 World Cup.

Germany have won 21 of their 27 meetings against the Lionesses, including the Euro 2009 final, but England were victorious the last time they met earlier this year.

Wiegman said England have “practiced and prepared for everything”, including penalties.

The atmosphere among the England squad was described as “calm” ahead of the big day.

‘Tomorrow is one final push’

Sarina Wiegman and Leah Williamson
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Wiegman said England have ‘practiced and prepared for everything’

With 90,000 fans expected at Wembley on Sunday, Williamson emphasised the importance of interest in women’s football.

She added that it’s an “exciting thought” that the team will be playing on home soil, adding that “nobody ever has a home game without an advantage”.

Germany are looking to win the competition for a record-extending ninth time.

Speaking about the magnitude of the final, Williamson said: “This is what we all live for and this is why we all play football.”

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Lionesses train before Euro’s final

“Tomorrow is one final push to achieve what we’ve come to achieve,” she added.

When questioned about team selection, Wiegman didn’t give anything away, simply saying: “We know how strong our squad is”.

To reach the final, the Lionesses beat Spain in the quarter-finals and thrashed Sweden 4-0 at Bramall Lane in the semi-finals.

Euro 2022: Scams and unofficial resales warning amid huge demand for England tickets | UK News

England’s magical run to the Women’s Euros final has led to huge demand for tickets to the game, and a warning that scams and unofficial resales could see people turned away.

Adam French, personal finance editor at The Money Edit website, said: “Tickets for Sunday’s final at Wembley are in hot demand.

“But the risk is clear, you could pay hundreds of pounds for unofficial resale tickets and not get in.”

He said if fans cannot get tickets officially “you’re better off watching the match at home”.

The Lionesses booked their place in the final after thrashing Sweden 4-0 on Tuesday.

The Money Edit said those who missed out on the chance to buy a ticket for the final may have the legitimate option of finding a friend or colleague with tickets who cannot attend, if they are willing to transfer the tickets.

However, tickets should be transferred before they “activate”, the website said.

More on Women’s Euro 2022

Those attending the game were also reminded to take photo ID, in case additional checks are needed on the day.

Read more: How England’s Lionesses found the perfect blend to reach Sunday’s final

The website also warned that fraudsters may try to sell duplicate print outs of legitimate tickets, or complete fakes, to passers-by on the street.

A Uefa spokesperson told The Money Edit: “All tickets to the Uefa Women’s Euro 2022 final are issued by Uefa and are subject to strict terms and conditions which prohibit their unauthorised advertisement, resale or transfer.”

The spokesperson said Uefa actively enforces its ticketing terms and conditions, including by monitoring the internet, and will take action (including cancelling tickets) where unauthorised advertisements are identified.