England faces Germany on Sunday in the final of Euro 2022 and Sue Smith recounted the Euro 2009 final when Germany ran out 6-2 winners. The game was played at a time when Germany was enjoying total dominance in women’s football. It was their seventh European Championship title and only the second final for the Lionesses. This time around the tie is too close to call.
“Starting the tournament, there was little expectation for us to do anything. It was just what we were putting on ourselves. We started against Italy and I remember straight away, we got beaten, Casey Stoney got sent off, I ended up playing left wing-back where I’d never played before and we lost,” Sue Smith said talking about Germany. “I was thinking ‘oh great, we’re going to go out at the group stage here, but we managed to get out of the group. Not doing so well also meant we had an easier route to the final. We got better and better, but Germany was such a force.”
“We’d never beaten them before and we had a psychologist that was with us for quite a while. She was doing specific things on getting your mindset right, playing against a Germany side who we’d never beaten before and different ways of thinking,” she added. “I played in every game and got dropped for the final. Jill Scott came in, I think they wanted a little bit more physicality. But I was sitting watching it and as soon as we conceded, you could see the players just went. You think you’ve got the belief, you do all these psychology sessions and getting the mindset right, doing all the preparation on how we’re going to beat them and you just had a feeling of ‘what are we going to do now?”