Euro 2022 final live: England vs. Germany

Jul 31, 2022 10:49 am ET

LONDON – Sarina Wiegman and her players know deep down that the most important victory has already been achieved. His haul can be judged not only by the record visitors and crowds that England’s run at Euro 2022 has generated, but also by the swaying pubs and ubiquitous shirts and crowded trains heading to Wembley for the final on Sunday against Germany.

As England captain Leah Williamson has said, it will also be clear in a few years’ time when this tournament will certainly, and probably across Europe, be seen as a ‘game changer’ for women’s football in England.

The problem in top-level sport, however, is that it’s not quite that simple. The impact of Euro 2022 on the general public will obviously not change regardless of whether England can make the final step and become European champions for the first time on Sunday, but the way players remember it certainly will do. It’s one thing to inspire a nation in glory. It’s another to do it with regret. The win that counts for England isn’t the philosophical one, it’s the conceptual one. It is the one achieved over 90 minutes on a field.

Recognition…Glyn Kirk/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

It is also achievable. England came through this tournament with such poise and grandeur that even Wiegman admitted the group stage was “relatively easy”. Her team only struggled once, in a tense quarter-final against Spain; This game also yielded the only goal Mary Earps conceded. The host should be the favorite.

The only caveat is that Germany doesn’t make a convincing underdog. Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s team looks like a team in transition, an older generation is gradually giving way to a younger one led by the indomitable Lena Oberdorf, but Germany’s record at the tournament is impeccable: they’ve been crowned champions eight times in Europe , and it has never lost an endgame it reached. This iteration has safely and eagerly picked up momentum throughout the tournament. She, too, knows that this is the victory that matters, the one that everything revolves around.

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