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In Focus: England plotting World Cup glory after historic Euros win
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Mitchell Fretton

England celebrated victory against Germany in a scintillating conclusion to Women's Euro 2022.

Chloe Kelly's extra-time winner saw the Lionesses claim their first major honour, defeating the eight-time European champions in the Wembley final.

With thoughts now already turning to the Women's World Cup taking place in Australia and New Zealand next summer, we assess whether Sarina Wiegman's team should be considered as favourites for the global showpiece.

Wonderful Wiegman

Sarina Wiegman masterminded England's historic tournament victory
Sarina Wiegman masterminded England's historic tournament victory

There were a number of incredible records that were broken during this summer's tournament and Wiegman added one of her own as she became the first coach to win the Euros back to back with two different countries.

After claiming silverware with her native Netherlands back in 2017, Wiegman took up one of football's toughest tasks in attempting to win a major trophy with England.

Twenty games into her tenure, the 52-year-old coach has achieved that feat at the first time of asking.

Her tactical awareness and faith in her players made a huge difference to the Lionesses' performances across the tournament, something she will surely replicate at the World Cup. 

One of Wiegman's most impressive attributes has been her decision-making. Her impactful substitutions at the right moments during games often made the difference for the host nation.

Supersub Alessia Russo was a prime example of this, as the Manchester United forward scored four times from the bench across England's six games.

If England are to have any chance of success at the World Cup, Wiegman will have a huge role to play in taking her team to the next level on the international stage.

Firing on all fronts

England lifted the Women's Euro 2022 trophy in front of a sold-out Wembley Stadium
England lifted the Women's Euro 2022 trophy in front of a sold-out Wembley Stadium

England have already shown that they can beat some of the best teams in the world, with Sweden and Germany both ranked by FIFA as two of the top five nations in women's football.

But if the Lionesses are hoping to go further than their previous best of third place at the 2015 World Cup, then they will have to produce something similar to the record-breaking 22 goals they scored this summer. 

It is not just goals that will be imperative in helping propel England's aspirations next year. 

Having conceded only twice over the last month, Wiegman will be hoping her backline can maintain their impressive form in the build-up to their trip to the southern hemisphere.

Lucy Bronze has been an integral part of Wiegman's defence, and she played a key role in helping her country reign supreme in Europe.  

The former Best FIFA Women's Player is confident that the England manager can lead the squad to World Cup glory following their recent success at Wembley.

Bronze, 30, said: "Winning trophies like the Champions League, FA Cups and things like that has always been amazing, but a goal of mine has always been to win something with England.

"I would’ve traded all those trophies previously for a night like Sunday. I’m so proud of the fact we finally got our hands on a trophy — but now we want to get our hands on a World Cup next year.

"The Euros is fantastic especially in our home country, but there’s a little star missing from our crest at the minute on the England shirt."

Tougher competition

The best talent on the globe will head to Australia and New Zealand next summer for the 2023 Women's World Cup
The best talent on the globe will head to Australia and New Zealand next summer for the 2023 Women's World Cup

The USA are undoubtedly the team to beat at the World Cup. FIFA's highest-ranked side are the defending champions having won the tournament for a fourth time in 2019.

Any path England wish to take to glory will more than likely require getting past Vlatko Andonovski's intimidating outfit.

The rivalry between the two nations has stretched over many years, with England suffering knockout defeats to their rivals across the pond in both 2007 and 2019.

The likes of Olympic gold medallists Canada and South American champions Brazil will also be hopeful of success next summer, not to mention the host of European teams seeking improvement, including England's semi-final opponents Sweden.

Wiegman's side certainly have to be confident of reaching the Sydney final, but with a tough route to lifting the trophy, the Lionesses will have to go above and beyond their efforts on home soil if they are to become champions of the world. 


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