Euro 2022: England v Germany final will be ‘a great football feast’, says Martina Voss-Tecklenburg
The Euro 2022 final between England and Germany at Wembley will be a “great football feast”, according to Germany boss Martina Voss-Tecklenburg.
Alexandra Popp scored twice as eight-time European champions Germany beat a spirited France side 2-1 in the second semi-final on Wednesday.
They will now play England on Sunday in front of a crowd of up to 87,200.
“It’s a classic game, it will be an incredible final,” said Voss-Tecklenburg.
“We look forward to this game, as everyone will do in England and in Germany.
“We will be playing at Wembley in front of 80 or 90,000 people and most of them for England and against us but we understand that and we’re accepting the challenge.”
A peak TV audience of 4.9 million watched Germany seal their place in the final, with another one million streams watched on iPlayer and BBC Sport, a day after 9.3 million watched on TV and two million streams were viewed as England beat Sweden.
England, who have never won the tournament, reached the final thanks to a 4-0 victory against a Swedish side ranked second in the world at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane on Tuesday.
However, Voss-Tecklenburg felt there were still plenty of areas to attack the Lionesses, saying: “England have been incredible in this tournament every single game for dynamism, lots of goals and they are so incredibly confident.
“They know what they have to do but in the first 30 minutes against Sweden they showed you can hurt them and that will be our task. It will be a great football feast.”
England, then coached by Phil Neville, lost 2-1 to Germany in front of 77,768 at Wembley in November 2019, with Klara Buhl scoring a 90th-minute winner.
However, Voss-Tecklenburg felt that match would not be a good indicator of what was to come on Sunday.
“You can’t compare that match. England are three years more mature,” she added.
The Lionesses have not been beaten since Sarina Wiegman took over in September. That undefeated run includes beating Germany on home soil for the first time in their history at the Arnold Clark Cup in February.
“I know Sarina is an incredible coach, it’s not about being the better coach,” said Voss-Tecklenburg. “We know each other’s strengths. It’s small details, forcing certain things, making fewer mistakes.
“We know what we have to expect and we will be ready but we have high respect for each other. She has already proved with the Netherlands that she can win a title and I hope it stays at one title.”
‘Golden Boot not my objective’
Popp became the first player in the tournament’s history to score in five successive games and now has six goals, the same as England’s Beth Mead in the race to end as the tournament’s top goalscorer.
For Wolfsburg striker Popp it has been a remarkable recovery after 10 months out with a serious knee injury, which needed two bouts of surgery to fix before she returned to action in March.
She began this tournament as a substitute, but came off the bench to score the fourth in a 4-0 win over Denmark before she secured a starting role with Lea Schuller ruled out of the matches against Spain and Finland because of Covid.
Popp then took her chance by scoring in every match of the tournament, although she said she was not focused on winning the Golden Boot.
“I have to disappoint you, it’s all about the team,” Popp said after the match. “If I don’t get these crosses I can’t score the goals.
“It’s not my objective that I want to win the Golden Boot – the main objective is to win the European Championship. If I have the opportunity to win the Golden Boot it would be nice but if it does not happen and three of my other team-mates score goals I’ll be very happy.”
The meeting of England and Germany in the final is a mouth-watering prospect, with former England goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain describing it as “the most romantic final as a football fan that you could wish for”.
She said: “For England, in a hosted tournament, it is absolutely brilliant. You’ve got so many one-v-one battles in that match-up that you can get excited over but for me, it’s Alexandra Popp versus Millie Bright, two of the standout players of the tournament.”
Christian Spiller, chief sports editor for German publication Zeit, said the final would bring the tournament’s two best teams together.
“That’s not always the case so this is going to be a great game and everyone can just look forward to it.
“England v Germany, what a game, what a rivalry. It doesn’t get any better.”