England boss Sarina Wiegman has told her side to focus on Germany’s “players, not the history” in Sunday’s Euro 2022 final.
England’s traditional rivalry with Germany is not exclusive to the men’s game, as the Lionesses were thumped 6-2 the last time they appeared at this stage of the European Championship in 2009.
But Wiegman insists revenge is not on the agenda.
“We approach this game exactly the same as every other game we have played,” she told several national newspapers.
“You know when it’s a final you are going to play against the best opponent you can imagine. And that’s Germany.
“Yes, we really analyse our opponents and talk about what their patterns are, what their strengths are, what their weaknesses are, if they have any? And then we say, what are our strengths? What do we need to do to harm them?
“I don’t know what the perfect game is because whoever is in front of us, we want to beat them. This is the final and we just really want to win the final. We talk about their players, not the history. It is about the here and now.
“Germany wants to win the final too, of course, but we don’t talk about the rivalry between England and Germany. We want to show so badly how good we are and play our best game.
“There’s so much eagerness in this team to win. And so much resilience. We want so badly to show again that we are the best, to play our best game.
— Lionesses (@Lionesses) July 29, 2022
“That’s what we’ve been trying to do all the time. And then, hopefully, that will bring us to win. That’s basically where we’re at. And then on top of that, we talk about players but not history. It is the here and now.”
Wiegman, who led the Netherlands to the European title in 2017, insists England’s wins over Spain and Sweden have instilled the belief that they can beat anyone.
“I think they have been mentally strong already,” she added. “I just think now they believe, they truly believe that we can beat anyone if we just do some things really well. We have already shown it, we have already proved ourselves that we can.
“It’s not just words. You need some behaviour too, to help each other. I think the team has done that so well.
“They’ve developed some confidence and then you can see the goal. Mentally, it’s making the right football decisions in the game and having the right qualities also, because it starts with the quality of the players.”