Gary: Lionesses are showing us how it's done

Friday 18 August 2023 13:52

Manchester United legend Gary Neville has heaped praise on England Women - and their galvanising impact on society - ahead of Sunday’s much-anticipated World Cup final.

After winning the 2022 European Championship, the Lionesses have captured the nation’s hearts once again with their inspirational performances in Australia and New Zealand this summer. 

United Women’s Mary Earps, Katie Zelem and Ella Toone have all impressed at the World Cup so far, and everybody at Carrington and Old Trafford is supporting them from afar this Sunday. 

Of course, Neville has a long history with the England men’s team and speaks openly about a lack of success at major tournaments, both on and off the pitch.

Like all of us, the Reds icon has been blown away by the women’s team’s achievements and he is passionate about their ongoing success. 

“They're showing us all how to do it,” Gary told the BBC this week.

“You know, I played for England and coached England in eight tournaments and never got past a semi-final, so what they are doing at this moment in time is incredible. I have to say, they are making their mark on everybody in this country and they have done now for a number of years. 

“You are talking about a team that is unified and together, that has got high quality and talent. But their spirit and resilience is unbelievable. I still marvel at that Euro final in the last five minutes when they were up against a team in Germany, and they were keeping the ball in the corner. 

“These are things that we could never do. We have tried to do those things in tournaments, we have tried to beat these types of teams.

“Even in the semi-final, when the Aussies came back, you were thinking 'oh this could be difficult' and then they just go ahead. They always respond, they always react. They have got robustness and resilience. 

“They do things that we have never done in this country, which is go and perform. Not just in one tournament by doing something that nobody has done before, but they are doing it again and again. They are so consistent, reliable and they are absolutely brilliant. 

“Yesterday morning, I was just thinking 'wow, I just wish we had some of this when I was playing for England'. That quality, that spirit and that energy that they have, and that resilience, to come back from disappointment in games.”

The Women’s World Cup final kicks off at 11:00 BST on Sunday and fans can watch the game via BBC Sport. You can also follow live updates and reaction via the United App. 

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