American football star Abby Wambach, who has scored 184 goals in international play during her career, tweeted about Russo’s goal, “I’ve been dreaming of scoring a goal like this my whole life. Never happened. Alicia Russo bows out.”
England took the team very seriously throughout the tournament. Crowds packed Wembley Stadium, and millions of people watched the matches on TV. English football fans seemed to love the team’s attacking style of play.
There has even been debate in the country over whether the women’s team should be called “black” like the English men’s team. However, the controversy appears to be over, when some commentators have pointed out that lionesses (female lions) do most of the hunting and caring for the young cubs.
“Lions are the sloths who lie in the sun all day,” said Nadine Dorries, England’s Secretary of State for Digital, Cultural, Media and Sport.
The Lionesses continued their fierce battle in the finals, defeating the strong German team, 2-1, with a wild and impulsive goal in the 110th minute of the overtime match.
Queen Elizabeth II of England, 96, sent her congratulations to the team in a statement saying: “You have all set an example who will be an inspiration to girls and women today and for generations to come.”
The Euro Championship may be a warning to the US women’s national soccer team. European countries and professional teams are investing more money in the women’s game. European women’s teams are improving and could prove to be a huge challenge for the US women’s team when the World Cup takes place in Australia and New Zealand starting in July 2023.
The Lionesses may have been like the United States national team for the 1999 Women’s World Cup. This team, with stars such as Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain and Kristen Lilly, won the World Cup that was held in the United States. But more than that, the team attracted American sports fans, and millions of American girls, interested in women’s football.
For women, the history of the FIFA World Cup is surprisingly short
This interest undoubtedly helped the US women’s national team, which is ranked No. 1 in the world and has won four World Cups as well as four Olympic gold medals.
But watch out for America, the lionesses – and the rest of Europe – are coming.