England ready to play ‘game of our lives’ in World Cup final, says captain Millie Bright

England are ready to produce the “game of their lives” against Spain in Sunday’s World Cup final, captain Millie Bright has said.

The Lionesses are chasing a second major trophy in 13 months after winning Euro 2022 on home soil last summer.

Both countries are seeking a first women’s global title and Chelsea defender Bright said it had been her team-mates’ “dreams for years” to make history and mark their dominance beyond the continent.

“We have got a game plan that we have to go out and execute,” Bright said ahead of Sunday’s showpiece in Sydney.

“Everyone knows how big this is. We know how passionate our nation is back home and how much they want us to win.

“I think it’s been players’ dreams for years.”

Follow the Women’s World Cup final with The Athletic

Manager Sarina Wiegman led the side to their first major trophy just months after taking charge in September 2021, and Bright said the Dutch coach had prompted a mentality shift.

“As a team, we express ourselves and we have the confidence to do that,” Bright added.

“We don’t fear making mistakes and for me that is the biggest thing. Football is such a beautiful thing but I think maybe when you play it a little bit hesitant, you don’t see the best in people.

“For me, with Sarina coming in we’ve had a real shift in confidence.”


How Sarina Wiegman manages – by those who’ve experienced it

Wiegman took her native Netherlands to the 2019 final, where they lost to the United States, but said Sunday was “a whole new situation”.

“It’s not 2019, it’s 2023 and I think England is in a very good place,” she told reporters.

“Everyone’s fit, we grew in the tournament, we grew in confidence. We just hope that we play our best game ever tomorrow and everyone is going to enjoy it.”

Wiegman’s key selection dilemma is whether to bring back Lauren James after suspension, or reward Ella Toone, who scored a stunner in the 3-1 semi-final win over Australia.

Asked about James, Wiegman said: “She’s good. Of course, she kept training and it’s really nice to have 23 players available.”



Wiegman’s England dilemma: James or Toone for the final?

(Photo: Getty Images)

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