English people can drink! Sarina Wiegman reflects on a night of celebration

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England manager Sarina Wiegman admits her players indulged in “a little too much alcohol” after their Euro 2022 victory over Germany.

Chloe Kelly’s extra-time goal sealed a 2-1 victory as the Lionesses claimed the first major trophy in their history and the first for a senior England side since the men’s 1966 World Cup triumph over West Germany.

The party went on long into the early hours and Wiegman seemed slightly surprised by how much alcohol was consumed.

“Crazy, lots of music, lots of dancing,” was her description of the party in an interview published on the Lionesses’ Twitter account from outside the team hotel.

“English people can drink…so a little bit too much alcohol but that’s OK.

“When you have this accomplishment it is good to have a party.”

Before the party officially started, the England squad gatecrashed Wiegman’s post-match press conference to serenade her with ‘Three Lions’, with goalkeeper Mary Earps dancing on the table.

Explaining her decision, England’s number one told Lionesses Live: “I saw my moment. I saw my opportunity. I took it. I felt like it was the perfect moment to get on a table.

“If you can’t get on a table after you’re the European champion, when can you?”

Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham insists England’s Euro 2022 success will “turbo charge” the women’s game in this country.

“The last few years have been incredible. We have invested really heavily and the Lionesses have taken their opportunity and they have produced something incredible. It’s been an amazing month and an amazing day yesterday,” Bullingham told BBC Breakfast.

“I think it will really turbo charge everything we have been doing in the women’s game.

“There is no reason why we shouldn’t have the same number of girls playing as boys and it will inspire a whole new generation of players.”

Bullingham continued: “We have worked incredibly hard to make a lot of new opportunities for girls and to make sure clubs and schools are embracing opportunities and schools are using football in the curriculum and for them to see it as normal for girls to play football like boys do.

Fans watch England v Germany – UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 – Final
England fans at the BOXPARK, Croydon watch a screening of the Euro 2022 final (Rhianna Chadwick/PA).

“We have been preparing for this moment for years. We have got clubs throughout the country ready to take girls on, we have been investing in schools, we have created opportunities for girls to come forward and we are ready and willing to do that.”

Former England international and TV pundit Alex Scott said the Lionesses’ Euro 2022 victory would be a game changer in terms of raising the profile of women’s football.

She told BBC Breakfast: “These Lionesses have raised the bar. They have changed the way women’s football is viewed in this country. The train has left the station and it is gathering pace.

“It will be tragic to take any steps back after what we have witnessed yesterday and through the whole tournament.

World champion Savannah Marshall will take inspiration from the Lionesses as she attempts to unify the middleweight division against Claressa Shields
World champion Savannah Marshall will take inspiration from the Lionesses as she attempts to unify the middleweight division against Claressa Shields (Owen Humphreys/PA)

“There must be an opportunity for every single girl to play football if they want to.”

WBO middleweight champion Savannah Marshall will take inspiration from the Lionesses into her unification bout with Claressa Shields at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday.

She said: “They’ve changed a lot of people’s perceptions, they’ve won millions of new fans and they’ve inspired new generations of girls to take up the sport. As an athlete it’s everything you want to achieve.”

Europe’s new Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald hinted he may seek Wiegman’s advice as he prepares for next September’s showdown with the United States in Rome.

Speaking as his appointment was confirmed, Donald said: “I’m sure I’ll be reaching out to many people who have had a lot of success in that team environment, one being Sarina.”

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