England’s Georgia Stanway says it’s time to “stop talking about how big women’s football is getting, and talk about how big it is” as the team prepare for the most important match of their lives.
The Lionesses will be taking on Germany in the Euro 2022 final in front of a sold-out crowd at Wembley Stadium on Sunday evening as they bid to finish their barnstorming campaign in emphatic style.
Among the huge number of people trying to secure tickets for the big game were the England men’s team, Stanway said.
“Sorry lads, we’re all sold out!”, she quipped.
A victory tomorrow will see the Lionesses end England’s 56-year wait to be crowned champions of a major tournament, something neither senior team has done since the 1966 World Cup.
The Lionesses’ incredible ride through this month’s competition has only thrown more spotlight on the growth of the women’s game, but Stanway insists the conversation needs to change.
“We need to stop talking about how big women’s football is getting, and talk about how big it is. We’re just hitting new levels every single time, even if England aren’t playing, the TV figures are ridiculous.”
She also said “calmness and composure” are the keys to the Lionesses triumphing over Germany, adding: “The fans are going to play a massive role in being our 12th man. Woman. Damn!”
The game is set to kick off at 5pm and will be shown live on TV.
Stanway, whose stunning strike sent her team through to the semi-finals, told reporters: “In the first five, ten minutes of every single game, energy levels are high, adrenaline’s high, everyone’s running around, everyone’s trying to do something special.
“The biggest thing we need to bring on Sunday is calmness, composure.
“We know that Germany like to get out the traps and they like to put people under pressure and challenge their decision making. We just need to be even better on the ball, it’s down to us really.”
After their thrilling comeback win against Spain in the quarter-finals, the Lionesses thrashed Sweden 4-0 to book their place in the final.
Just like in 1966, England will get the opportunity to fight for the trophy at Wembley Stadium. Home soil.
“We’re in such a good place,” Stanway said.
“We’ve dominated the games that we’ve played so far, confidence is really high, belief in ourselves is really high.
“We’re just really looking forward to Sunday. We know how special it’s going to be for football in general.
“The stadium’s going to be packed out, the fans are going to be loving it, I’m so excited to enjoy the day.”
The 23-year-old forward paid tribute to manager Sarina Wiegman, who has helped guide England through the tournament.
“Sarina obviously has the experience. She’s been here, she’s done it before, she’s got to this point whereas we haven’t. This is where we’ve got to put ourselves into what Sarina’s saying.
“So far we’ve done so well. Now it’s about trusting the process and believing fully in us.
“The biggest thing that Sarina said to us at the start was ‘Play for the little girl that wanted to be in our shoes.”