On Sunday, England and Spain will play in the final of the Women’s World Cup in Sydney. Both teams want to win the event for the first time.
The game starts at 10:00 GMT at Stadium Australia, where about 75,000 people are expected to buy all the tickets.
It will be the last part of the biggest Women’s World Cup ever, which began a month ago with 32 teams and has been full of surprises.
Now there are only two left, and it’s too close to call who will win. Neither team has been this far in a game before.
The last time these two teams played was at the European Championship last summer. Hosts England won 2-1 in extra time to get into the semi-finals and went on to win the title.
Coach Sarina Wiegman and defender Millie Bright said they were trying to think of this as just another game, but the captain said there was no way to hide from how big this was.
British media have talked a lot about 1966, which was the only time the country won the men’s World Cup.
Bright said on Saturday, “We know how passionate our country is back home and how much they want us to win.”
“But for us, there is a plan, there is a process, and we have to play the game of our lives.”
Chelsea forward Lauren James is back after being banned for two games for stepping on an opponent in the last-16 win over Nigeria on penalties.
Wiegman probably won’t make any changes to the team that beat Colombia by a score of 2-1 and then beat co-hosts Australia in the semi-final.
Wiegman said, “We have grown over the course of the tournament. Our confidence has grown, and we are just getting ready like we always do.”
England has been mostly brutal and like a well-oiled machine to get to the final, except when they played Nigeria. For example, when they beat Australia 3-1 at home, they were able to silence the crowd.
Spain is smoother and has often beaten their opponents with passes and flashes of striking skill.
England hasn’t lost a game so far in the event, but their 4-0 loss to Japan in the group stage stands out. Japan beat Spain quickly on the break.
Spain hadn’t even won a final match at the World Cup before this year, and the fact that they did so despite problems that could have ruined their chances makes it even more amazing.
Last September, 15 players, most of whom played for the European giant Barcelona, said they no longer wanted to play for their country.
They had many complaints, but their biggest problem was with Vilda. They didn’t like how strict he was, how he didn’t get things done, or how he did things.
Three of the 15 rebels came back for the World Cup, and Aitana Bonmati, a Barcelona midfielder, has been one of the best players at the event.
Reporters at the World Cup have asked Vilda many times about the missing players. They have also asked him if the players he brought to Australia and New Zealand liked him.
On the day before the final, he seemed to be done with that line of questions because he said, “Next question, please.”
He was more honest about how his players felt. He said they were “united.”
“Everything that’s happened outside—the training, the games, and everything else—has been amazing,” he said.
“I’m sorry, Prince William,”
Queen Letizia of Spain will be there, but Prince William, who is the head of the English Football Association, has been criticized for staying home.
In a film with his daughter Charlotte sitting next to him, he said, “Lionesses, I want to wish you a lot of luck for tomorrow.”
“We’re sorry we can’t be there in person, but we’re so proud of everything you’ve done and the millions of people you’ve inspired here and around the world.”
No matter who wins, the Women’s World Cup will have a new name.
The U.S., which was trying to win its third title in a row, lost to Sweden on penalties in the round of 16.
The only other countries to have won the prize are Norway, Germany, and Japan.