Sarina Wiegman has insisted that England ‘don’t fear anyone’ as they prepare to face Germany in the Euro 2022 final on Sunday.
The rampant Lionesses are searching for the maiden piece of silverware, while Germany are chasing a ninth European title to extend their own enormous competition record.
Germany and England were the only two sides to progress from the group stages with 100% winning records, and the pair have maintained this in the knockout stages to set up a tie at Wembley between two of European football’s heavyweights.
“If you’re in the final then you’re one of the best teams in the tournament,” Wiegman said. “I think we are a very good team too and we don’t fear anyone.
“At some points it might be a little physical. They can play very direct, straight forward, physical. That’s what we expect, we did see some things we might want to exploit, but we’ll see that tomorrow.”
Tickets have completely sold out for Sunday’s final, and if all 87,000 available Wembley seats are filled, this will be an all-time record attendance for a European Championship match, irrespective of gender.
While admitting such an occasion was not something she could have anticipated only a matter of years ago, Wiegman was keen to emphasise that her team’s approach would not change.
“You don’t start playing football or start coaching, with the thought: ‘I want to be a coach in front of 90,000 people’. You just start doing the job because you love football, you love team work,” the England boss added.
“But it’s really nice having that occasion tomorrow, but in the end it’s just a game we’re going to play and yes it’s a final but we approach it as we do every other game.”
England played Germany as recently as February, netting twice in the final 10 minutes to run out 3-1 winners at the Arnold Clark Cup. Although it was an experimental and injury-hit Germany side that took to the field at Molineux five months ago, Wiegman admitted there are still things to take away from that victory.
“That moment was important for us,” she said. “I think now the team that we played there was a little different, their style of play is similar, but different players are on the pitch. But of course we take that experience with us and also the analysis of Germany from their recent games.”
The Lionesses will be hoping to go one better than their male counterparts did 12 months earlier, after England men’s suffered penalty shootout heartache against Italy in the Euro 2020 final.
“I don’t think we should compare men and women, it’s just one England,” Wiegman added. “And everyone who was there last year really cheered for the England team and that will be tomorrow too, I don’t think it’s any different.”