“This squad has given football a lot,” said DFB President Bernd Neuendorf at the reception of the German team in Frankfurt City Hall: “This team has prospects. We saw the beginning of something really big.”
The day after the unfortunate 2-1 defeat after extra time in the final of Euro 2022 at Wembley Stadium, the German team had previously returned from England. When the machine rolled out at Frankfurt Airport, national coach Voss-Tecklenburg waved a German flag from the cockpit.
The national coach then had to dry a few tears on the tarmac – with the disappointed midfielder Svenja Huth.
The team then signed the city’s golden book in Frankfurt’s Römer. “We actually wanted to be European champions and not the winners of hearts,” said Voss-Tecklenburg. “But if the great performance has helped us win the hearts of the German population, then we’re happy to win their hearts.”
From the balcony of the town hall, the vice European champions sang together with around 7,000 fans on the forecourt “Oh, how beautiful that is”.
Victory Party in Trafalgar Square
Hours earlier, thousands of football fans had enthusiastically celebrated the European champions from England in Trafalgar Square. Queen Elizabeth II spoke from her castle of Balmoral in Scotland. The success of the Lionesses goes “far beyond the trophy they so deservedly won,” wrote the Queen. “You are an inspiration to girls and women today, and for generations to come.”
Very young fans were also among the revelers in Trafalgar Square. That suited Euro 2022, because the EM was not only an exciting football spectacle, but also a real family celebration. Around 100,000 children were among the almost 575,000 spectators in the stadiums.
The violent party after the EM triumph had left its mark on the English team. Many of the newbies wore sunglasses and looked tired. National coach Sarina Wiegman admitted that there was “a bit too much alcohol, but that’s okay.” Also for the fans. They enthusiastically cheered the team and England’s first major international title since winning the Men’s World Cup in 1966. And of course the classic song “Football’s Coming Home” could not be missing.
Ella Toone “embellished” the EM trophy with a red England cap. “All we wanted was to inspire the next generation,” said the goalscorer for England’s 1-0 lead, “and we did that. Women’s football is getting bigger and bigger.”