First Europe, next the world: Lionesses set their sights on global domination

First Europe, next the world: Lionesses set their sights on global domination

  • Match-winner Chloe Kelly targeting 2023 World Cup triumph
  • FA to hold Wiegman talks and wants her to stay ‘for long time’

The Lionesses have set their sights on winning the World Cup next August after securing England’s first major trophy since 1966.

With the silver confetti barely settled on the Euro 2022 triumph, Chloe Kelly, whose goal earned England a historic 2-1 win over Germany, said: “One is not enough – we want more.”

Shortly after she had pranced across the stage at a packed Trafalgar Square to “Sweet Caroline”, she said: “Looking at this medal makes you so much hungrier for more.

“The World Cup is around the corner. I want to win trophies. As a young girl you grow up seeing people win trophies and we’re here doing that.”

Lucy Bronze has won every honour available to her at club level but said she “would’ve traded all those trophies previously for a night like Sunday”. She echoed Kelly’s desire to go one better.

“Anybody that knows me knows I’m like that,” the full-back said. “The Euros is fantastic, especially in my home country, but there is a little star missing from our crest at the minute on the England shirt. That’s definitely a mission of ours.”

The United States are the team to beat, having won back-to-back World Cups in 2015 and 2019 to add to their 1991 and 1999 victories. Was the Euros win a sign England are coming for their crown? “Hah,” said Bronze with a grin. “They’re the holders of the World Cup and they’re the ones that knocked us out in 2019.

“We know there are plenty of teams outside of Europe who want to compete for that World Cup as well as the teams in Europe who were in this tournament. I guess it’s up for grabs and we’re in a good place at the minute.”

England’s captain, Leah Williamson, said she was flattered by comparisons to the 1966 captain, Bobby Moore. “He’s a legend isn’t he,” she said with a large exhale of breath. “I didn’t know that we were the same age at the point we had done this. He’s got the World Cup. He’s one up on me, right?”

Sarina Wiegman, England’s manager, lifts the trophy again on Monday.

The Football Association’s chief executive, Mark Bullingham, said the Euros title had come “earlier than we could have ever hoped”, 11 months into Sarina Wiegman’s tenure.

“She is incredible,” he said. “She was our No 1 target when we were going out to look for a manager and she was just brilliant all through that process. Not in our wildest dreams did we imagine this success so soon. We thought that this tournament might be too early. We weren’t sure we’d win this one – we were hoping we would win one in the future.”

Wiegman started in September but the FA would “love her to be with us for a long time”. Its director of women’s football, Sue Campbell, said she would “have a conversation” with Wiegman, who received a hero’s welcome from fans in Trafalgar Square and is in line for a six-figure bonus, when the manager returns from a campervan holiday with her family.

“You have to remember she only came in in September,” Lady Campbell said. “Everybody said to me: ‘Do you think she can win the Euros?’ and I said: ‘It’s a very short time span that.’

“My goodness, she’s moulded them together. Not just the players, the team around her. There’s a togetherness. You have to be in it to feel it. There’s no people sitting on the edge, there’s nobody outside the bubble. They’re all in this together and she’s uncompromising on that front.”

There is a statue of Wiegman on the Dutch football federation’s campus after her home Euros win with the Netherlands in 2017. Where will the statue go here? “Good question. Probably St George’s Park,” said Campbell.