England’s Euro 2022 victory over Germany ‘will change society’
England beat Germany 2-1 to win the European football championships on Sunday, their first major women’s trophy.
The heated match — held at London’s Wembley Stadium — saw forward Chloe Kelly score the winning goal in the second half of extra time.
Here is a look at the reaction in both countries.
Reaction from England: ‘Football has come home’
The English players were quick to share their excitement.
“Thank you to every single person. Honestly, it’s amazing. This is what dreams are made of,” Kelly told the BBC.
“It’s unbelievable. To be here and score the winner, these girls are special, this manager is special. This is amazing. I just want to celebrate now.”
Her comments were echoed by team captain Leah Williamson, who thinks the result will have positive social repercussions.
“I just can’t stop crying. We talk, we talk and we talk and we finally (did) it,” she said. “You know what? The kids are alright. This is the proudest moment of my life. Listen, the legacy of this tournament is the change in society.”
“I think we really made a change,” added team coach, Sarina Wiegman. “I think this tournament has done so much for the game but also for society and women in society in England but I also think in Europe and across the world and I hope that will make a (bigger) change too.”
Tributes came pouring in from beyond the world of sport, as a variety of high-profile public figures — from pop group, the Spice Girls, to outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson and Queen Elizabeth II — praised the Lionesses’ achievement.
“Congratulations @Lionesses True #GirlPower right there,” tweeted the Spice Girls’ official Twitter account.
Adele was another musical act to add her voice to the chorus.
“You did it!!” she exhorted on her Instagram page. “It’s come home!! Congratulations @lionesses what a game changer!!”
“Football has come home!” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who employed the popular phrase used during the men’s championship last summer, before England lost to Italy in the final. “Huge congratulations to Sarina, Leah and the whole team. Football pitches across the country will be filled as never before by girls and women inspired by your triumph.”
“The Championships and your performance in them have rightly won praise,” read a letter by Queen Elizabeth II.
“However, your success goes far beyond the trophy you have so deservedly earned.”
“You have all set an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations. It is my hope that you will be as proud of the impact you have had on your sport as you are of the result today.”
Reaction from Germany: ‘We are cheated again’
Meanwhile, the German team paid its respects to the Lionesses and expressed their disappointment for the defeat.
“A hundred and twenty minutes of pure passion and pure struggle weren’t enough today,” it remarked on its official Twitter account. “Respect and congratulations to the Lionesses.”
Many applauded both the Lionesses’ and the DFB Women’s performances, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz: “Congratulations to the @Lionesses to the European Championships and to the @DFB_Frauen for the world-class performance in a close game. That was a thrilling tournament and the whole of Germany is proud of this team!”
“Congratulations, dear @Lionesses, well done,” said Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. “And you, dear @DFB_Frauen, have made us all very proud.”
Nevertheless, some in the country did not hide their grievances.
German newspaper Bild felt that England had been given an unfair advantage during the match after the referee chose not to penalise the Lionesses for a handball in the 25th minute.
“We are cheated again,” it read.