For football fans, rivalries don’t get much bigger than England vs Germany – especially when they are paired in a European Championship final.
That’s right, a phenomenal Women’s Euros comes to a close this weekend in the most exciting way possible, with arguably the tournament’s two best sides going head to head at a sold out Wembley stadium this Sunday.
With record results and record breaking attendances already gripping audiences this month, the heightened interest in the showcase has perhaps never been higher, as Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses go head to head with eight time champions Germany for the right to be European champions.
And while many will be sad to see an inspiring month comes to a close, the Euros has officially delivered everything it promised in abundance.
With record breaking scorelines meeting record breaking attendances, the tournament seems destined to go down in history as the one that punched through the ceiling of the women’s game and brought it fully into the mainstream.
And here at The Scotsman, we’ve been delighted to document it all with our weekly podcast.
Following on from last week’s episode with Birmingham City and Scotland star Christie Murray, we signed up another tremendous guest – and ANOTHER Scotland international – in Leicester City’s Sophie Howard.
Alongside our previous guests – Lee Gibson, Jen Beattie and Murray – the 27-year-old Foxes star has been at the forefront of the growth of the women’s game, having played the entire season in front of the Sky Sports cameras for Leicester in the WSL, while she has also played a pivotal role in Scotland Women’s excellent recent run of form under Pedro Martinez Losa.
Born in Germany, Howard has extensive experience of playing in the Frauen-Bundesliga with Hoffenheim, whilst she has featured in both of Scotland’s major tournament appearances in 2017 and 2019 after switching her international allegiance from Germany, thanks to her Scottish grandfather.
She has become a cornerstone of WSL side Leicester City, where she helped them gain promotion after winning the Championship in 2021, before establishing themselves in the top flight.
Howard also famously scored the winning goal for Scotland in a 3-2 win over Jamaica – the Scottish women’s national team’s first ever appearance at Hampden Park.
And thankfully for ourselves, the international defender joined us for our penultimate show to preview the highly anticipated final of Euro 2022.
The centre back shares her thoughts on where the game will be won and lost, what it is like to play against Ellen White and Alessia Russo, plus what she feels the tournament will do for the game as a whole. Can the Lionesses snatch the trophy on Sunday, or does Howard tip Germany to lift the trophy for an astonishing ninth time?
Alex Popp and Beth Mead are neck and neck with six goals each – but which one can go better and down their opponents on Sunay? How can England get past the watertight German back line? What will be the key battles on the pitch?
We also discuss what the European Championship can do for the game across the whole of the United Kingdom, what it has been like to finally call Hampden Park home and grassroots football right across Britain can capitalise on an amazing tournament.