Sarina Wiegman thankful for ‘dream’ support as World Cup final set to unite country

Wiegman’s team have faced several challenges throughout their historic run to the World Cup final, after losing key players Leah Williamson, Beth Mead and Fran Kirby before the tournament.

Lauren James was sent off in England’s last-16 victory against Nigeria but will be available for the final after serving a two-match suspension, with Wiegman admitting the forward learned a “hard lesson” after stamping on an opponent.

Wiegman said James is “ready to play again”, although the 21-year-old is likely to only start on the bench following Ella Toone’s impressive performance against Australia in the semi-finals.

When asked to sum up England’s run to the World Cup final, Wiegman said her players have shown “togetherness” and” resilience”.”

“The team has inspired the nation so much last year but also at the World Cup also on this stage,” Wiegman said .

“Hopefully it will inspire more girls to play football, not just in England but around the world.”

England captain Millie Bright and manager Sarina Wiegman

England captain Millie Bright said the bond between the players and their manager had grown throughout the tournament.

“The longer you work together the better the connection,” Bright said. “The better you can be off the pitch, the better the conversation can be, and then we can translate that to the squad.

“As much as people don’t want to face challenges, it’s part of the game, it’s part of life, and without those challenges we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

Bright said every player in the team will be living out a “dream” when they walk out to play the World Cup final.

“Everyone knows how big this is. It’s been players’ dreams for years. We know how big it is back home but it’s just another game.

“It’s massive, but it’s for everyone. It’s an honour and a dream to come true to lead the girls out, but ultimately it’s the team.”


“We have seen how hard the games have been. It’s a proud moment as a player and a woman to show the level we are at on the world’s stage.

“We live in the moment. It’s a World Cup final but for us it’s another game. Our preparation remains the same. We’ve got a game plan.”

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