Lionesses Triumph at Euro 2022: England Beat Germany
Lionesses Captain, Leah Williamson: “The match is not the end of a journey but the start of one”
England’s women’s (the Lionesses) team made history this weekend after winning their first major tournament at the final of the 2022 Euros. Eight-time champions Germany lost 2-1 in the tense match at Wembley. The result is a landmark moment for both English and women’s sport.
As the match moved into extra time, an apprehensive crowd watched on, praying to the football gods that England will snatch the win. Just a few years ago, England’s men’s team narrowly missed out on taking home the trophy, after losing to Italy on penalties. But to the amazement of the fans, substitute Chloe Kelly took advantage of a corner and scored the winning goal. The 87,000+ stadium roared with delight, as England was set to be crowned European champions. A cautious Ferry waited for confirmation before celebrating the win. Moments later, the confirmation came and the team ripped off their shirts, sprinting around the pitch to take in the sheer gravity of their win.
Shortly after the triumph, the Lionesses captain, Leah Williamson commented on the historic win, “What we’ve seen in the tournament already is that this hasn’t just been a change for women’s football but society in general, it’s about how we’re looked upon.” Willaimson then discussed the future of women’s football in England: “The final is not the end of a journey but the start of one. And regardless of the end result, there will be a nice moment for reflection. Naturally, it’s my job to go out for 90 minutes to play and win, but when we look back on this tournament as a whole, we’ll have really started something. I want tomorrow to be the start, to be a maker for the future.”
Despite this incredible victory, there is unfortunately still a lot of misogyny from football fans in the UK and around the world. Although women’s football is gaining momentum and acceptance, there is still a long way to go before it is considered ‘as important’ as the men’s team. “I’ve only ever been in this football workplace but, in most workplaces across the world, women still have a few more battles to face to try to overcome,” said Williamson. “For every success we make, for every change of judgment or perception or the opening of the eyes of somebody who will now view women as somebody with the potential to be the equal of her male counterpart, that can create change in society.”