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For those tuning in for the first time wondering 'who are the Lionesses?', we meet the Women’s Euro 2022 players - and bring you up to date with the team's progress throughout this year's Euros.
The England women's team won the Euros 2022 final against Germany 2- 1 - celebrating with a jubilant rendition of Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline (opens in new tab) - and the historic victory have made the likes of Golden Boot winner Beth Mead (opens in new tab) household names.
With many hailing the win as a new beginning for the women's game, and the whole team being honoured with the Freedom of the City (opens in new tab), here's everything you need to know about the Lionesses who finally brought football home.
Who are the Lionesses?
England Women's manager Sarina Wiegman has chosen a blend of youth and experience while selecting the 2022 Euros team, also known as the Lionesses. This is the first England squad with an average age younger than 27 since the 2013 Euros when England failed to progress to the knockout stages.
The England women's team won the Euros 2022 final against Germany 2- 1, pulling the game back from a 1 - 1 score during extra time.
On Tuesday 25th July, the women's team secured their place in the 2022 Women’s Euro final for the first time since 2009, with a 4-0 success against Sweden - the biggest recorded Women's Euro semi-final victory.
Stand-out performances from the Lionesses include their 8-0 victory over Norway, their 10-0 victory over North Macedonia, and their 20-0 victory over Latvia which set a national record for their largest victory in a senior international football match.
Who is the England captain Leah Williamson?
Playing as number eight, Arsenal's Leah Williamson was made England's captain this April, taking over from Steph Houghton. At just 25, Williamson plays as a defender and midfielder and has played every minute of the Euros campaign so far.
The player's rise to England captain is the culmination of a rise through the England ranks, which saw her sign to Arsenal at the mere age of nine in 2006 and captain from under 17's to under 20's levels.
Who is the England women's team's goal keeper Mary Earps?
Manchester United goalkeeper, Mary Earps, put on the number one shirt for the England squad, much to her own surprise, after writing off any chance of playing in the Euros.
The 29-year-old told Sky Sports, "I was resigned to the fact that [going to the Euros] would never happen all the way up until I got an e-mail saying I was going to be picked for the September camp. I never thought this would ever happen."
Earps has been in and out of the senior side of women's football for the past few years. She was part of the Euro 2017 training camp and was part of the squad for the 2019 World Cup, but has never made an appearance at a major tournament.
Mary has played for five different clubs in the WSL, as well as German side Wolfsburg, giving her an in-depth understanding of the players the team will be facing tonight.
Her recent development at Manchester United caught the eyes of England's manager. She has started in every Euros game so far and has conceded just one goal, which came against Spain in the quarter-finals.
Who is the Women's Euro team manager Sarina Wiegman?
England's Lionesses are currently enjoying a two-year unbeaten reign under manager Sarina Wiegman, who succeeded Phil Neville in 2020. The 52-year-old has steered her team to 17 brilliant victories and a mere two draws.
Wiegman hails from the Netherlands where she was called up to the national football team at 16-years-old. Two years later, she joined Kruikelientjes '71 - and won her first ever trophy in the form of the Dutch Cup.
In 2017, she became the head coach of the Dutch women's team - known as the Orange Lionesses - and the very same year, she and her side claimed the Women's Euro title which led to a host of awards for the manager.
She was named the Best FIFA Women’s Coach and also made a Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau, which is a civil honour for special achievements in her native country.
Her endeavours and achievements on the world stage drew the attention of the Football Association (FA) who asked if Wiegman would take over for England, and she jumped at the opportunity.
When asked why she had decided to take the job, according to Chronicle Live, she replied, “Why not? I only want to work at the top. I wouldn’t be happy with any less.”
Who are the Lionesses' star players?
Lucy Bronze, who plays in the number two shirt as a defender, is one of the most respected and decorated players of her generation. Lucy left Manchester City for a second time shortly before Euro 2022 to move to Spanish champions Barcelona.
She was voted The Best FIFA Women’s Player 2020 and has won both the WSL and the UEFA Women’s Champions League three times, not to mention a whole host of major team and individual honours. The defender has also declared coaching England a future ambition of hers.
Jill Scott is a Lionesses legend with this year's Euro being her 10th major tournament. The 35-year-old made her England debut in 2006 and was awarded an MBE in the 2020 New Year Honours.
Georgia Stanway, 25, spent the first seven years of her senior career with Manchester City where she won seven major honours, before deciding to leave for Bayern ahead of Euro 2022. She currently plays as a midfielder in the number 10 shirt.
Midfielder Beth Mead, 27, started out in senior football with Sunderland before she was picked up by Arsenal in 2017. She was famously and controversially left out of Team GB’s Tokyo Olympics squad but has more than shown herself worthy of the international spotlight scoring 6 times for the Lionesses throughout this year's games.
Chloe Kelly scored the winning goal in the women's Euro final 2022, her first ever goal in an international game. Playing for Manchester City, the 24 year old forward player started her foray with the Lionesses' Under-15s and rose up through the ranks, helping the Under-20s to a third place finish at the 2018 FIFA U20 World Cup.
After recovering from a career-threatening heart condition during the 2019/20 season, Fran Kirby is Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer with 101 goals. The 29-year-old has twice been named the PFA Women’s Players’ Player of the Year and has scored 2 goals during England's Euro journey.
Manchester United star Ella Toone scored the first of two goals in the women's 2022 Euro final, setting the team off on their winning foot. The 22 year old represented England at the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, made her under-19 debut in an UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship qualification match, scoring twice in a 9–0 win, and made her senior international debut on 23 February 2021 as a half-time substitute and scored a penalty in a 6–0 friendly win over Northern Ireland.
Joining the team from Manchester City, at only 33 years old, Ellen White is England Women’s all-time top-scorer, a record she’s held since November 2021. She has been named England Women’s Player of the Year three times, most recently in 20/21.
Though she is one of the team's youngest players at only 21, Lauren Hemp has been named PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year four times, making her the most decorated PFA award winner of all time, and the first player to win four awards in the same category.
When does tonight's women's final kick off?
Kick-off is 5pm and the BBC will be broadcasting the match with coverage kicking off at 4pm.
Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for Goodto.com. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.
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