England’s ‘badass women’ aim to bring the World Cup home
It’s not just the trophy that the Lionesses have their sights set on
Phil Neville believes, the players believe and now the nation is starting to believe... England are going for glory at the Fifa Women’s World Cup.
After a superb performance in the last eight against Norway on Thursday night the Lionesses are through to their second successive Women’s World Cup semi-final.
Goals from Jill Scott, Ellen White and Lucy Bronze sealed the convincing 3-0 win over Norway and next up is a semi-final clash against defending champions United States or host nation France in Lyon on Tuesday.
Both the US and France will provide the England players with arguably the toughest test of their professional careers, but for head coach Neville and his squad they have their eye on the biggest prize.
Speaking after the win against Norway, Neville said: “We want to come home with that World Cup. I keep thinking to myself, ‘stop saying it’, but we can’t hide away from the fact something’s happening. We cannot wait for Tuesday.”
England players will be watching on as France and the US play their quarter-final on Friday night at the Parc des Princes in Paris (8pm, live on BBC).
‘Badass women - that was our mantra’
England came into the tournament as one of the favourites to lift the trophy and their run to the semi-finals has seen excitement levels increase back home as the popularity of women’s football continues to grow.
The BBC reports that a record-breaking peak UK TV audience of 7.6 million watched England’s 3-0 win over the Norwegians.
Neville, who was appointed head coach in January 2018, will hope to oversee England winning a major women’s tournament for the first time.
Even though the World Cup is the ultimate short-term goal, he revealed that his squad have lofty ambitions for the long term.
“We want to inspire and to build a legacy,” said the 42-year-old. “We had a camp last year and we set out the objectives for the next 12 months, and all I wanted them to say was ‘win the World Cup’.
“But they were thinking bigger than winning a World Cup, which knocked me in my stride a little bit.
“We want the Lionesses to have a name that people around the world can relate to… badass women. That was our mantra.
“We’re now at the point where we are inspiring, where people are jumping on board… it just feels really good.”
Fifa Women’s World Cup fixtures
BBC Sport will show live coverage of the World Cup. All times are BST.
Quarter-final fixtures and TV guide
- Thursday 27 June: Norway 0 England 3
- Friday 28 June: France vs. USA (8pm; Parc des Princes, Paris; BBC One, website and app)
- Saturday 29 June: Italy vs. Netherlands (2pm; Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes; BBC One website and app)
- Saturday 29 June: Germany vs. Sweden (5.30pm; Roazhon Park, Rennes; BBC Two, sport website and app)
Women’s World Cup semi-finals
- Tuesday 2 July: England vs. France/USA (8pm; Stade de Lyon, Lyon; BBC One)
- Wednesday 3 July: Italy/Netherlands vs. Germany/Sweden (8pm; Stade de Lyon, Lyon; BBC One)
When is the Women’s World Cup final?
The 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup final will be played at the Stade de Lyon on Sunday 7 July (4pm BST, live on BBC One).