The Lionesses won against Scotland in a bid to bring football home yesterday, so it’s time to brush up on your knowledge
More women than ever before are playing football, and this summer’s Women’s World Cup in France is set to be the biggest one yet. With that in mind, what better time to learn all about the team who are representing England this summer?
The Lionesses, who are managed by Phil Neville and led by captain Steph Houghton, are leading a new wave of interest in women’s football across the country. And, after they made their World Cup final stage debut yesterday evening 9 June against Scotland.
Without further ado, these are seven facts you need to know to lead the conversation on this summer’s most exciting event.
1. The England women’s team played their first international match in 1972
The first official women’s international game in Britain was played at Greenock in 1972. In a mirror of tonight’s game, England played Scotland, and eventually beat them 3-2. This was a massive step for women’s football; it was only one year earlier that the FA had lifted its ban on women playing on Football League grounds, which had been in place since 1921.
2. The BBC will be broadcasting every match in the tournament
Despite a previous lack of coverage for women’s football, 2019 is a year of change. BBC Sport will be broadcasting every World Cup match across TV, Radio and Online, so you never have to miss a game.
3. The Lionesses are currently ranked third in the world by FIFA
The England women’s team aren’t just set to impress this summer – they’ve been a strong presence on the field for a while now. They’re ranked third in the world by FIFA, and their rivals tonight, Scotland, are ranked 20th. The only teams which rank higher than them are Germany in 2nd, and the USA in 1st.
4. They were unbeaten in their qualifying tournament
In the qualifying rounds for the 2019 World Cup, the Lionesses were not only unbeaten – they only conceded one goal in the eight games they played. They are now unbeaten in 59 World Cup and European Championship matches in a run which goes all the way back to 2002.
5. The squad was announced by a series of famous faces
In order to “make sure that each individual player really had a special moment,” Phil Neville organised for a host of famous faces to announce the World Cup squad, including Emma Watson and Ellie Goulding.
6. Midfielder Karen Carney has made more major tournament appearances than any male or female England player
Karen Carney has played 32 games at major tournaments since she made her debut 14 years ago. The Chelsea player, who was twice named FA Young Player of the Year, has officially played in more major tournaments than any other England player – male or female.
7. Forward Georgia Stanway was joint top scorer at the Under 20’s Women’s World Cup last year
Georgia Stanway is the youngest member of the team at 20 years old, but there are many other things which make her remarkable. Not only was she joint top scorer at the under 20’s Women’s World Cup last year, she was also named PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year for 2018/19.