“We changed society,” the three words Sarina Wiegman ended her post-match press conference with after winning Euro 2022.
Goals from substitutes Ella Toone and Chloe Kelly secured England’s 2-1 extra-time victory over Germany in Sunday’s final at Wembley – but the success goes beyond lifting the trophy.
“This tournament has done so much for the game but also for women in society,” said the England head coach. “I don’t think we’ve really realised what we’ve done. Over the whole tournament we’ve had so much support from our fans. We did an incredible job and I’m so proud of my team.”
She added: “During our preparation for the Euros we bought in some players that played in ‘71 – those women were the trailblazers for the next generation, as now these players will be. We should always remember the ones who came before us.”
Kelly’s goal celebration was reminiscent of Brandi Chastain at the 1999 World Cup – and inevitably Weigman was asked about England’s chances at the next World Cup in 2023.
“The development of this game has been so fast. It’s not easy to win this tournament. And it will be the same at the World Cup too. But now it’s time to party, then we’ll have some time off and then try to qualify for the World Cup.”
Of Kelly’s winning goal, Wiegman added: “What’s really nice for her personally is that she had such a difficult injury then she made it into the squad and then she scores this goal – for her and her journey this is incredible. A very, very special moment and I’m happy for her.”
Weigman also revealed why she had been seen kissing her wrist as the whistle went to signal England’s victory.
“I’m kissing this little armband that was my sister’s,” she explained. “My sister passed away during the prep camp. But I think she was here. She would be really proud of me and I’m really proud of her too.”