Wills and Kate to roar on Lionesses as thousands to pack Trafalgar Square for Euro final

27 July 2022, 13:34 | Updated: 27 July 2022, 13:41

England's Lionesses roared to a 4-0 Euro 2022 semi-final triumph over Sweden
England's Lionesses roared to a 4-0 Euro 2022 semi-final triumph over Sweden. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are set to watch England’s Lionesses in the Women’s Euro 2022 final at Wembley as millions of fans roar them on hoping for glory.

England will take on either France or Germany in Sunday’s final and they will be joined from the stands by William, President of the FA, and his wife Kate.

William attended three men’s Euro 2020 matches but has yet to watch the Lionesses in their progress in this tournament.

He tweeted last night: "Congratulations Lionesses on making it to the #WEURO2022📷 final on Sunday. The entire country is so proud of everything you’re achieving. We believe in you and will be with you all the way! W"

The news of the Royals attending comes as London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced there would be a special screening of the final held in Trafalgar Square, with free access for up to 7,000 fans.

Alessia Russo celebrates with her team after scoring her first goal in the 47th minute
Alessia Russo celebrates with her team after scoring her first goal in the 47th minute. Picture: Alamy

The game, which starts at 5pm, will be the first time that England’s women’s team have competed in a Euro final since 2009.

The site at Trafalgar Square opens to the public at 11am and will be accessed on a first-come-first served standing only basis.

Sadiq Khan, said: “Getting to final is a remarkable achievement and I truly believe the Lionesses have what it takes to go all the way.

William and Kate are set to attend the final
William and Kate are set to attend the final. Picture: Alamy

“The atmosphere at tonight’s Fan Party screening was electric and England is now within touching distance of the trophy. I’m so excited to once again bring Londoners and visitors together at Trafalgar Square this Sunday to help cheer the Lionesses to victory.”

Striker Alessia Russo, dubbed ‘Lessi’ in a nod to Lionel Messi, has spoken of how much she is enjoying herself on the pitch after her stunning back-heel strike in England's 4-0 Euro 2022 semi-final triumph over Sweden.

Substitute Russo notched the third goal at Bramall Lane in the 68th minute when she back-heeled the ball through Hedvig Lindahl's legs after the goalkeeper had parried her initial shot.

It was a fourth goal for the Manchester United striker in the Lionesses' home Euros campaign that will now conclude with Sunday's final at Wembley against either Germany or France.

Trafalgar Square will have a 7,000 capacity for the final
Trafalgar Square will have a 7,000 capacity for the final. Picture: Alamy

Russo, who is at her first major international tournament and has come off the bench to replace Ellen White in each of England's five matches, said when asked about her confidence levels: "I'm loving it so that helps with confidence.

Read more: England's lionesses head to Wembley after crushing Sweden 4-0 in Euro 2022 semi final

Alessia Russo scored a brilliant backheel goal
Alessia Russo scored a brilliant backheel goal. Picture: Alamy

"I think when you're enjoying your football you play your best. Maybe (even just attempting that goal) does show a bit of confidence - but I'm just loving playing football."

Breaking down what happened when she scored, the 23-year-old said: "To be honest, the first (shot), I should have scored - we were actually working on cut-backs in training the other day.

"And then once it fell back to me I thought, 'Right, what's the quickest route for this ball to get in the net?' because I should have scored in the first place. So I just swung a foot at it and luckily it hit the back of the net.

The Lionesses roared into the final of the competition, which will be against France or Germany on Sunday
The Lionesses roared into the final of the competition, which will be against France or Germany on Sunday. Picture: Alamy

"Of course, to score in a semi-final and progress to the final is a huge highlight of my career. I don't normally score back-heels and I don't think you'll ever see one again, but I'll take it for now!"

On her role as an impact substitute, Russo added: "I'll take any time I get to play for England. It's been amazing and I'm loving playing for the Three Lions and with everyone else.

"I think if that's the role I'll take it for sure. Whenever my chance is there I'll take it."

England boss Sarina Wiegman labelled Russo's goal "phenomenal", while winger Beth Mead - scorer of the opener in Sheffield - revealed the players had been calling it "very naughty".

"Alessia's an unbelievable player," Mead said.

"She's worked so hard and we're not surprised she has scored those type of goals. She does it in training, and we've been saying it's a very naughty goal, megsing the keeper with a back-heel. I don't think it gets better than that in a semi-final."

Mead went into the contest already leading the race for the Golden Boot and her strike in the 34th minute took her to six goals for the tournament.

The Arsenal star has equalled the record goal tally for a player at a single edition of the competition, level with Germany's Inka Grings' haul from 2009.

Asked about that, Mead said: "It's a little bit surreal for me, but it's not something I've really thought about too much.

"I'm happy to be scoring goals and (providing) assists and helping the team. I'm just more happy about us being in the final and winning with the team."

Mead, who last summer missed out on selection for the Great Britain squad for the Tokyo Olympics, has now scored 20 England goals since Wiegman took charge last September.

She added of her goal-scoring: "I think a lot of people have said to me I needed to start believing in myself a little bit more and I am trying to do that - I think it's easier said than done.

"But I know my ability as a player, in the past I've played as a nine, so I knew I could score goals, and I'm just happy to be in the right place at the right time sometimes at the moment. The girls are playing amazing and making it easy for me."

After Mead put England ahead having been teed up by Lucy Bronze, the roles reversed for the second three minutes after the break when Bronze headed home from Mead's corner.

And following Russo's goal, Mead then registered another assist when Fran Kirby made it 4-0 with a chipped effort in the 76th minute.

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