England women's national football team

The England women's national football team, nicknamed the Lionesses, has been governed by the Football Association (FA) since 1993, having been previously administered by the Women's Football Association (WFA). England played its first international match in November 1972 against Scotland. Although most national football teams represent a sovereign state, England is permitted by FIFA statutes, as a member of the United Kingdom's Home Nations, to maintain a national side that competes in all major tournaments, with the exception of the Women's Olympic Football Tournament.

England
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)The Lionesses[1]
AssociationThe Football Association (The FA)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachSarina Wiegman
CaptainLeah Williamson
Most capsFara Williams (172)
Top scorerEllen White (58)
FIFA codeENG
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 2 Increase 2 (15 March 2024)[2]
Highest2 (March 2018; March 2024)
Lowest14 (June 2004 – September 2005)
First international
 Scotland 2–3 England 
(Greenock, Scotland; 18 November 1972)
Biggest win
 England 20–0 Latvia 
(Doncaster, England; 30 November 2021)
Biggest defeat
 Norway 8–0 England 
(Moss, Norway; 4 June 2000)
World Cup
Appearances6 (first in 1995)
Best resultRunners-up (2023)
European Championship
Appearances9 (first in 1984)
Best resultChampions (2022)
Nations League
Appearances1 (first in 2023–24)
Best result5th (2023–24)
Finalissima
Appearances1 (first in 2023)
Best resultChampions (2023)
WebsiteOfficial website

England have qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup six times, reaching the quarter-finals in 1995, 2007 and 2011, finishing fourth in 2019, third in 2015 and as runners-up in 2023. Since 2019, England, as the highest-ranked Home Nation, have been able to qualify an Olympic team on behalf of Great Britain; other British players may be selected in the event of qualification.

They reached the final of the UEFA Women's Championship in 1984 and 2009, and won in 2022, marking the first time since 1966 that any England senior football team had won a major championship. England have also competed in the UEFA Women's Nations League since the inaugural 2023–24 season.

History edit

Early years edit

The success of the men's national football team at the 1966 FIFA World Cup led to an upsurge of interest in football from women within England. The Women's Football Association (WFA) was established in 1969 as an attempt to organise the women's game.[3] That same year, Harry Batt formed an independent English team that competed in the Fédération Internationale Européenne de Football Féminine (FIEFF) European Cup.[4]: 43  Batt's team also participated in two FIEFF World Cups held in Italy (1970) and Mexico (1971).[5][6]

Following a UEFA recommendation in 1972 for national associations to incorporate the women's game, the Football Association (FA) later that year rescinded its ban on women playing on English Football League grounds.[7][8] Shortly after, Eric Worthington was tasked by the WFA to assemble an official women's national team. England competed in its first international match against Scotland in Greenock on 18 November 1972, 100 years to the month after the first men's international.[3][9] The team overturned a two-goal deficit to defeat their northern opponents 3–2, with Sylvia Gore scoring England's first international goal.[10] Pat Firth scored a hat-trick in an international against Scotland in 1973 among the 8–0 scoreline.[11] Tom Tranter replaced Worthington as long term manager of the women's national football team and remained in that position for the next six years.[4]: 94 

1979–1993: Progress under Reagan edit

Martin Reagan was appointed to replace Tranter in 1979.[4]: 100  England reached the final of the inaugural European Competition for Women's Football, in 1984, after beating Denmark 3–1 on aggregate in the semi-finals. Despite resolute defending, including a spectacular goal line clearance from captain Carol Thomas, the England team lost the first away leg 1–0 against Sweden, after a header from Pia Sundhage, but won the second home leg by the same margin, with a goal from Linda Curl.[12] England lost the subsequent penalty shootout 4–3. Theresa Wiseman saved Helen Johansson's penalty but both Curl and Lorraine Hanson had their spot kicks saved by Elisabeth Leidinge.[13]

At the 1987 European Competition for Women's Football, England again reached the semi-finals but lost 3–2 after extra time against holders Sweden, in a repeat of the previous final. The team settled for fourth, after losing the third place play-off against Italy 2–1.[14] Reagan was sacked after England's 6–1 quarter-final loss against Germany at UEFA Women's Euro 1991, which left them unable to qualify for the inaugural FIFA Women's World Cup. John Bilton was appointed as head coach in 1991 after Barrie Williams's brief tenure.[4]: 103–104 

1993–1998: FA involvement edit

In 1993, the FA took over the running of women's football in England from the WFA, replacing Bilton with Ted Copeland as national team manager.[4]: 105  England managed to qualify for UEFA Women's Euro 1995, having previously missed out on the last three editions, but were beaten 6–2 on aggregate over two legs against Germany.[15] Reaching the European semi-finals granted England a place at the World Cup for the first time. The team advanced from the group stage of the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup in Sweden, but lost out again to Germany 3–0 in the quarter-finals.[16]

1998–2013: Development under Powell edit

Hope Powell became the team's first full-time head coach in June 1998, succeeding her former coach Copeland.[17] The European Championship expanded in 1997 to eight teams and moved from a biennial event to a quadrennial one. England qualified via the play-offs for the 2001 competition held in Germany, despite recording their biggest loss (away against Norway 8–0) during qualification, but did not advance past the group stage.[18] England automatically qualified as hosts in 2005, but again did not make it to the semi-finals.[19]

Qualification for the World Cup changed for the 1999 edition. European qualifiers were introduced, so that teams no longer needed to rely on advancing to the latter stages of the European Championship. England qualified unbeaten for the 2007 World Cup in China, winning Group 5 in the European qualifiers and recording their biggest win (away against Hungary, 13–0) in the process, ending a 12-year hiatus from the competition.[20][21] After coming second in their group, they advanced into the quarter-finals to face the United States but lost 3–0.[22]

In May 2009, central contracts were implemented to help players focus on full-time training without having to fit it around full-time employment.[23][24] Three months later, at the European Championships in Finland, England marked their return to the recently expanded 12-team competition by reaching the final for the first time in 25 years. They advanced from Group C to the quarter-finals by virtue of being the top third-placed team, beating both the hosts and the Netherlands in the knockout stage on the way to the final. There they lost 6–2 to reigning champions Germany.[25]

England reached their third World Cup in 2011, having won Group 5 and their play-off 5–2 over two legs against Switzerland.[26][27] In Germany, they topped Group B – ahead of eventual winners Japan.[28] England were paired with France in the quarter-finals, with the match ending in a 1–1 draw. England had taken the lead with Jill Scott's chip, only to have Élise Bussaglia equalise with two minutes remaining. After extra time ended in stalemate, they lost the ensuing penalty shootout 4–3. Karen Bardsley had saved Camille Abily's initial penalty but misses by Claire Rafferty and Faye White sent England out of the competition.[29]

Powell left the role in August 2013 after a poor showing at the UEFA Women's Euro 2013, with England bowing out after the group stage.[17]

2013–2017: Sampson era edit

 
England women's team in February 2015

Welshman Mark Sampson succeeded Powell as England manager. England qualified for their third successive World Cup in August 2014 with a game to spare, winning all ten matches and topping Group 6.[30] England played their first international match at the new Wembley Stadium, home to the men's national team, in a friendly against the reigning European champions Germany on 23 November 2014. England had not played Germany since their heavy defeat in the European Championship final five years earlier. They lost the match 3–0, marking the 20th attempt at which England had failed to record an official win over Germany.[31][32]

At the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada, England lost their opening group game to France but won their remaining group games against Mexico and Colombia, easing through to the last 16 to play 1995 champions Norway. A 2–1 win set up a meeting with hosts Canada in the quarter-finals. Despite facing not only a strong Canadian team but a capacity partisan crowd at BC Place in Vancouver, England progressed to the semifinals of the Women's World Cup for the first time in their history with another 2–1 win, which also marked the first semifinal appearance by any England senior team since the men reached the last four of the 1990 World Cup in Italy. Playing reigning World Cup holders Japan in the semi-finals, England conceded a penalty kick, which Aya Miyama converted past Karen Bardsley. Japan then conceded a penalty as Yuki Ogimi clipped Steph Houghton and Fara Williams slotted it past Ayumi Kaihori to level the game. However, in the last minute of the game, Laura Bassett scored an own goal to send Japan through to the final.[33] England eventually finished in third place by beating Germany 1–0 after extra time after a Williams penalty, their first time beating their archrivals in the women's game. It marked the best finish for any England senior team since the men's team famously won the 1966 World Cup as hosts.[34]

England qualified for the UEFA Women's Euro 2017 in the Netherlands and won all three of their group games at the tournament. England beat France 1–0 in the quarter-finals before meeting hosts and eventual champions, the Netherlands. In the semi-finals, England conceded three goals without reply and were knocked out of the tournament.[35]

In September 2017, Sampson was sacked from his role as manager by the FA after evidence of "inappropriate and unacceptable" behaviour was uncovered during his tenure at Bristol Academy.[36] The FA in January 2019 agreed to pay a "significant" financial settlement to Sampson, on the week his claim for unfair dismissal was due to be heard in court.[37] He was replaced by Phil Neville, who had played at Manchester United – including in their 1999 treble winning season – and Everton and been capped by the England men but had never before held a high-profile managing job.

2018–2021: Neville era edit

 
National team during 2019 Women's World Cup.

After being appointed manager, Neville's first games in charge were at the 2018 SheBelieves Cup. In their first game, England defeated France 4–1, then drew 2–2 against Germany. They went into the final game against the United States with the opportunity to win the tournament, but lost 1–0. Second place was the highest England had finished at the SheBelieves Cup.[38]

England continued with World Cup qualification in 2018. On 6 April they drew 0–0 against Wales. After the qualifying games in June, England and Wales were guaranteed the first two spots in qualifying Group 1,[39] and England's 3–0 win against Wales in August 2018 saw them clinch the group and qualify for the World Cup finals.[40]

In the 2019 SheBelieves Cup, England won the tournament for the first time after winning their first match 2–1 against Brazil, drawing 2–2 with the United States and defeating Japan 3–0.[41]

In the 2019 Women's World Cup in France, England won group D, beating local rivals Scotland and archrival Argentina to qualify for the knockout phase, before beating Japan. England beat both Cameroon and then Norway 3–0 to advance to the semifinal against United States in Lyon – the team's third straight major tournament semifinal. However, similar to the previous two tournaments, England once again failed to make the final, losing 2–1. Alex Morgan scored the winner after Ellen White had equalised following Christen Press' opening goal, while White had an equaliser ruled out by VAR and Houghton had a penalty saved by Alyssa Naeher. The team finished in fourth after losing the third place play-off to Sweden 2–1.[42]

In March 2019 Winsford was chosen for the site of the £70m Cheshire FA Centre of Excellence, which will be the new home of the England Women's Football Team. It will also act as a training base for European teams playing in Liverpool and Manchester. The development was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020. In October 2020 the Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave his support for the development to go ahead; planning applications are expected to be submitted to Cheshire West and Chester Council in spring 2021 with a possible opening date of 2023. The site is being designed to revolutionise women's football in England.[43][needs update]

In the wake of the World Cup exit, England's form dropped as the team struggled in a series of friendlies to end the year including a 2–1 defeat by Germany at Wembley Stadium on 9 November 2019. The game set a new record attendance for an England women's match at 77,768, becoming the second-biggest crowd for a women's game on English soil after the 2012 Olympic final which was watched by 80,203 at the same venue.[44] The poor run continued into 2020 as England failed to defend their title at the 2020 SheBelieves Cup in March. Losses to the United States and Spain made it seven defeats in 11 games, the team's worst stretch since 2003, mounting further pressure on Neville, who admitted he was personally responsible for England's "unacceptable" form amid increased media scrutiny.[45][46][47][48] In April 2020, Neville announced he would step down as manager when his contract expired in July 2021. Originally his tenure would have extended to England's hosting of UEFA Women's Euro 2021, but the tournament was postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[49]

An FA budget restructure at the end of 2020 saw the women's team become independent from the men's team for the first time, allowing more strategic freedom.[50] In January 2021, Neville elected to resign early in order to take up the managerial position at Inter Miami, the Major League Soccer club founded by previous England men's captain David Beckham.[51][52] As it had already been agreed that incumbent Netherlands manager Sarina Wiegman would be appointed to the role from September 2021, Hege Riise was named caretaker manager until then.[53] Riise oversaw a 6–0 friendly win over Northern Ireland in her first game in charge.[54]

From 2021: Wiegman era edit

 
England women's team in October 2022; ten of these eleven players (#1–10) were in the July 2022 Euro-winning side

On 14 August 2020, the FA announced it had reached a four-year deal with Netherlands manager Sarina Wiegman, who agreed to take over the team from September 2021, becoming the first non-British permanent manager.[55][56] Entering as England began their 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification, Wiegman wanted the team to be ruthless, beginning a streak of large winning goal margins in both competitive and friendly matches, including a "humiliating" defeat of the Netherlands.[50] On 30 November 2021, during qualification for the 2023 World Cup, Ellen White became England's all-time record goals scorer (overtaking Kelly Smith), during a 20–0 win over Latvia, in which she scored a hat-trick. The game was a multi-record breaking game as three other players scored a hat-trick (Mead, Hemp (scored 4), and Russo), marking the first time four players had scored a hat-trick in a senior England women's game. The game was also the largest victory for either the women's or men's senior England sides, surpassing the women's team's 2005 13–0 win against Hungary and the men's 1882 13–0 win against Ireland.[57]

England were drawn into Group A of Women's Euro 2022 as hosts and won each of the group stage matches: 1–0 against Austria at Old Trafford in Manchester;[58] 8–0 against Norway at the Falmer Stadium in Brighton and Hove (a new European Championship record score);[59] and 5–0 against Northern Ireland at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton.[60] In the quarter-final, England recovered from being a goal behind against Spain to win 2–1 in extra time at the Falmer Stadium.[61] In the semi-final at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, they defeated Sweden 4–0, the highlight of this match being a goal scored by Alessia Russo with an "instinctive backheel" that was later nominated for the FIFA Puskás Award.[62]

 
England being crowned Champions of Europe after winning the Euro 2022 Final

No more years of hurt! No more need for dreaming, because dreams have become reality at Wembley! After 56 long years, it is glory against Germany once again, and this time, it yields history of its own because the Lionesses have finally won their first major trophy! England are European champions, and...(Pauses, crowd in background sings, "It's coming home, it's coming home, it's coming, football's coming home!" chorus from Three Lions)

Vicki Sparks's radio call at the final whistle of the Women's Euro 2022 Final on BBC Radio 5 Live[63]

On 31 July, England defeated Germany 2–1 in extra time in the Women's Euro 2022 Final at Wembley, with Chloe Kelly's 110th-minute close-range goal from a corner being the decider after goals in normal time by Ella Toone for England and Lina Magull for Germany. It was the team's first-ever major trophy and was the first major international championship won by an England team (women's or men's) since 1966.[64] The final was watched by a crowd of 87,192, a record for either the women's or men's European Championship.[65]

Soon after Euro 2022, the England players wrote an open letter to Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, the candidates in the ongoing Conservative Party leadership election, in which they declared their "legacy and goal was to inspire a nation". They saw their victory "as only the beginning". The letter pointed out that only 63% of British girls could play football in school PE lessons and concluded: "We – the 23 members of the England Senior Women's EURO Squad – ask you to make it a priority to invest in girls' football in schools, so that every girl has the choice".[66][67]

With a further series of wins and draws including a friendly win against the United States at Wembley and qualifying for the 2023 Women's World Cup, the team ended 2022 having gone unbeaten for the calendar year.[68] In December at BBC Sports Personality of the Year, Mead became the first female footballer to win the Sports Personality of the Year Award, with the team as a whole winning the Team of the Year Award and Wiegman winning the Sports Personality of the Year Coach Award.[69] At The Best FIFA Football Awards 2022, held in February 2023, Mary Earps won the Best Women's Goalkeeper award; Wiegman won the Best Women's Coach award; and Mead, Williamson, Lucy Bronze and Keira Walsh were named to the World XI.[70]

As European champions, England contested the 2023 Women's Finalissima against South American champions Brazil in April 2023, which they won on penalties.[71] The team then suffered their first defeat under Wiegman days later, losing to Australia, to end a 30-match unbeaten run.[72] Following the Euro win and a series of high-profile wins in the months afterward, the England squad was reported to newly carry the aura of top teams that reflects winning confidence.[73]

At the 2023 World Cup, the Lionesses won their group, winning all three matches.[74] England subsequently defeated Nigeria, Colombia and Australia in the knockout stages to reach their first World Cup final, where they lost 1–0 to Spain.[74][75][76]

Image edit

Nickname edit

The England women's national football team is widely nicknamed the Lionesses. The moniker was developed in-house by The Football Association's digital marketing department as a way of increasing the visibility and reach of the women's team to a dedicated women's football audience and community, particularly on social media. It was first used as a hashtag in June 2012 when the men's team was competing in UEFA Euro 2012 at the same time the women's team was playing a crucial UEFA Women's Euro 2013 qualifier against Netherlands in a bid to help differentiate the coverage and allow people to follow the women's team more easily without getting lost in conversation about the men which was using the same generic #ThreeLions branding at the time. The name started to be used organically by fans and media outlets before The Football Association adopted it as an official brand identity, including with commercial and licensing partners, ahead of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup.[77][78]

The name was also used in an updated version of the popular English anthem "Three Lions" during England's ultimately successful Women's Euro 2022 run, which Fara Williams, Rachel Yankey, Faye White, Rachel Brown-Finnis and Anita Asante performed along with Chelcee Grimes and original artists Lightning Seeds and David Baddiel (with another original artist, Frank Skinner, in attendance).[79] Baddiel, Skinner and the Lightning Seeds later also not only referenced the team and their Women's Euro 2022 championship in "Three Lions (It's Coming Home for Christmas)", a remake for the men's World Cup in Qatar that November and December, but also included footage of the players interrupting Wiegman's post-Euro final press conference singing the chorus and appearances from Bethany England and Jess Carter.

In February 2024, when each of the London Overground lines were given names, the line from Watford Junction to Euston that includes Wembley Central was christened the Lioness Line in the team's honour.[80]

Media coverage and promotion edit

The 2019 media campaign in announcing the World Cup squad was part of a broad marketing ambition to make the players into more recognisable stars to promote the team, the competition, and women's football. Using celebrities with connections to the players to make social media facing announcements, the marketing agency received praise for the campaign, which successfully increased social media engagement.[81]

A documentary film, The Lionesses: How Football Came Home, was produced about the 2022 Euro win and released later that year.[82][83] It has been reported that the team's campaign at the 2023 World Cup will also be given a documentary.[84]

England matches at selected international tournaments are currently broadcast by ITV Sport (excluding Euro and World Cup finals) and BBC (major finals).[85][86] Previously, the Euro and World Cup finals were broadcast by Channel 4 (Euro 2017 only) and Eurosport.

Collective honours edit

World Cup teams edit

In 2015, the World Cup squad won the BT Sport Action Woman Awards Team of the Year award.[87]

In 2019, the World Cup squad won the GQ Men of the Year Inspiration Award.[88]

2022 Euro team edit

The 23-player squad and coach Sarina Wiegman who won the 2022 Euro, the women's team's first major international title, received several honours that year, including:

Results and fixtures edit

This list includes match results from the past 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.

All times are listed in GMT except where noted.
Legend

  Win   Draw   Lose   Void or Postponed   Fixture

2023 edit

1 July Friendly England   0–0   Portugal Milton Keynes, England
15:15 Report Stadium: Stadium MK
Attendance: 26,267
Referee: Esther Staubli (Switzerland)
14 July Unofficial friendly England XI 0–0 Canada XI Sunshine Coast, Australia
Stadium: Sunshine Coast Stadium
Attendance: 0
Note: Behind-closed-doors training match (rolling substitutions and no caps)
22 July FIFA World Cup 2023 GS England   1–0   Haiti Brisbane, Australia
19:30 UTC+10
  • Stanway   29' (pen.)
Report Stadium: Lang Park
Attendance: 44,369
Referee: Emikar Calderas Barrera (Venezuela)
28 July FIFA World Cup 2023 GS England   1–0   Denmark Sydney, Australia
18:30 UTC+10
Report Stadium: Sydney Football Stadium
Attendance: 40,439
Referee: Tess Olofsson (Sweden)
1 August FIFA World Cup 2023 GS China   1–6   England Adelaide, Australia
20:30 UTC+9:30
Report
Stadium: Hindmarsh Stadium
Attendance: 13,497
Referee: Casey Reibelt (Australia)
7 August FIFA World Cup 2023 R16 England   0–0 (a.e.t.)
(4–2 p)
  Nigeria Brisbane, Australia
17:30 UTC+10 Report Stadium: Lang Park
Attendance: 49,461
Referee: Melissa Borjas (Honduras)
Penalties
12 August FIFA World Cup 2023 QF England   2–1   Colombia Sydney, Australia
20:30 UTC+10
Report
Stadium: Stadium Australia
Attendance: 75,784
Referee: Ekaterina Koroleva (United States)
16 August FIFA World Cup 2023 SF Australia   1–3   England Sydney, Australia
20:00 UTC+10
Report
Stadium: Stadium Australia
Attendance: 75,784
Referee: Tori Penso (United States)
20 August FIFA World Cup 2023 Final Spain   1–0   England Sydney, Australia
20:00 UTC+10
Report Stadium: Stadium Australia
Attendance: 75,784
Referee: Tori Penso (United States)
22 September 2023–24 UEFA Nations League England   2–1   Scotland Sunderland, England
19:45
Report
Stadium: Stadium of Light
Attendance: 41,947
Referee: Maria Sole Caputi (Italy)
27 October 2023–24 UEFA Nations League England   1–0   Belgium Leicester, England
19:45
Report Stadium: King Power Stadium
Attendance: 28,321
Referee: Lina Lehtovaara (Finland)
31 October 2023–24 UEFA Nations League Belgium   3–2   England Leuven, Belgium
20:30 (CET)
Report
Stadium: Den Dreef
Attendance: 7,235
Referee: Esther Staubli (Switzerland)
1 December 2023–24 UEFA Nations League England   3–2   Netherlands London, England
19:45
Report
Stadium: Wembley Stadium
Attendance: 71,632
Referee: Tess Olofsson (Sweden)
5 December 2023–24 UEFA Nations League Scotland   0–6   England Glasgow, Scotland
19:45 Report
Stadium: Hampden Park
Attendance: 15,320
Referee: Alina Peşu (Romania)

2024 edit

23 February Friendly England   7–2   Austria Algeciras, Spain
19:45
Report
Stadium: Estadio Nuevo Mirador
Attendance: 949
Referee: Ainara Andrea Acevedo Dudley (Spain)
27 February Friendly England   5–1   Italy Algeciras, Spain
17:00
Report
Stadium: Estadio Nuevo Mirador
Attendance: 650
Referee: María Eugenia Gil Soriano (Spain)
5 April Euro 2025 qualifying England   1–1   Sweden London, England
20:00
Report
Stadium: Wembley Stadium
Attendance: 63,248
Referee: Ivana Projkovska (North Macedonia)
9 April Euro 2025 qualifying Republic of Ireland   0–2   England Dublin, Ireland
19:30 Report
Stadium: Aviva Stadium
Attendance: 32,742
Referee: Lina Lehtovaara (Finland)
31 May Euro 2025 qualifying England   v   France Newcastle, England
Report Stadium: St James' Park

Coaching staff edit

Current information edit

As of 10 August 2021
Position Staff Ref.
Manager   Sarina Wiegman [100]
Assistant manager   Arjan Veurink [101]

Managerial history edit

As of 9 April 2024
Image Manager Tenure P W D L Win % Competitions
  Harry Batt 1969–1970,
1972
6 1 0 5 016.7 unofficial matches
  Frank Baker 1971 1 0 0 1 000.0 unofficial match
  Eric Worthington 1972 1 1 0 0 100.0
  Tom Tranter 1973–1979 25 17 2 6 068.0
  Mike Rawding 1979 1 0 1 0 000.0
  Martin Reagan 1980–1990 61 28 14 19 045.9 Euro 1984 runners-up
Euro 1987 fourth place
  Barrie Williams 1991 1 1 0 0 100.0
  John Bilton 1991–1992 11 5 2 4 045.5
  Ted Copeland 1993–1998 35 15 5 15 042.9 Euro 1995 semi-finals
1995 World Cup quarter-finals
  Dick Bate 1998
(caretaker)
3 0 0 3 000.0
    Hope Powell 1998–2013 169 85 33 51 050.3 Euro 2001 group stage
Euro 2005 group stage
2007 World Cup quarter-finals
Euro 2009 runners-up
2011 World Cup quarter-finals
Euro 2013 group stage
  Brent Hills 2006, 2013
(caretaker)
5 4 0 1 080.0
    Mark Sampson 2013–2017 60 39 8 13 065.0 2015 World Cup third place
Euro 2017 semi-finals
  Mo Marley 2017
(caretaker)
3 2 0 1 066.7
    Phil Neville 2018–2021 35 19 5 11 054.3 2019 World Cup fourth place
    Hege Riise 2021
(caretaker)
3 1 0 2 033.3
    Sarina Wiegman 2021– 49 37 8 4 075.5 Euro 2022 champions
2023 Finalissima champions
2023 World Cup runners-up
2023–24 Nations League fifth place

Players edit

Caps, goals, and recent players may be outdated or incorrect, as the FA does not maintain a database of historical statistics.

Current squad edit

The following 23 players were named to the squad for the UEFA Women's Euro 2025 qualifying matches against Sweden and the Republic of Ireland on 5 and 9 April 2024 respectively.[102]

Khiara Keating withdrew from the squad due to injury on 4 April 2024 and was replaced with Kayla Rendell.[103]

Caps and goals are correct as of match played 9 April 2024 against Republic of Ireland.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Mary Earps (1993-03-07) 7 March 1993 (age 31) 49 0   Manchester United
1GK Hannah Hampton (2000-11-16) 16 November 2000 (age 23) 4 0   Chelsea
1GK Kayla Rendell (2001-06-29) 29 June 2001 (age 22) 0 0   Southampton

2DF Lucy Bronze (1991-10-28) 28 October 1991 (age 32) 121 15   Barcelona
2DF Alex Greenwood (1993-09-07) 7 September 1993 (age 30) 92 7   Manchester City
2DF Leah Williamson (captain) (1997-03-29) 29 March 1997 (age 27) 44 4   Arsenal
2DF Jess Carter (1997-10-27) 27 October 1997 (age 26) 32 2   Chelsea
2DF Niamh Charles (1999-06-21) 21 June 1999 (age 24) 16 0   Chelsea
2DF Lotte Wubben-Moy (1999-01-11) 11 January 1999 (age 25) 13 1   Arsenal
2DF Esme Morgan (2000-10-18) 18 October 2000 (age 23) 8 0   Manchester City
2DF Millie Turner (1996-07-07) 7 July 1996 (age 27) 1 0   Manchester United

3MF Keira Walsh (vice-captain) (1997-04-08) 8 April 1997 (age 27) 73 0   Barcelona
3MF Fran Kirby (1993-06-29) 29 June 1993 (age 30) 70 19   Chelsea
3MF Georgia Stanway (1999-01-03) 3 January 1999 (age 25) 67 17   Bayern Munich
3MF Ella Toone (1999-09-02) 2 September 1999 (age 24) 48 19   Manchester United
3MF Jess Park (2001-10-21) 21 October 2001 (age 22) 8 1   Manchester City
3MF Grace Clinton (2003-03-31) 31 March 2003 (age 21) 3 1   Tottenham Hotspur

4FW Lauren Hemp (2000-08-07) 7 August 2000 (age 23) 55 18   Manchester City
4FW Beth Mead (1995-05-09) 9 May 1995 (age 28) 55 32   Arsenal
4FW Chloe Kelly (1998-01-15) 15 January 1998 (age 26) 41 7   Manchester City
4FW Alessia Russo (1999-02-08) 8 February 1999 (age 25) 38 18   Arsenal
4FW Lauren James (2001-09-29) 29 September 2001 (age 22) 24 7   Chelsea

Recent call-ups edit

The following players have also been called up to the England squad within the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Khiara Keating (2004-06-27) 27 June 2004 (age 19) 0 0   Manchester City v.   Sweden, 5 April 2024 INJ
GK Ellie Roebuck (1999-09-23) 23 September 1999 (age 24) 11 0   Manchester City v.   Belgium, 31 October 2023
GK Emily Ramsey (2000-11-16) 16 November 2000 (age 23) 0 0   Everton 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup PRE

DF Maya Le Tissier (2002-04-18) 18 April 2002 (age 21) 3 0   Manchester United v.   Italy, 27 February 2024
DF Millie Bright (1993-08-21) 21 August 1993 (age 30) 77 5   Chelsea v.   Netherlands, 1 December 2023 INJ
DF Lucy Parker (1998-11-18) 18 November 1998 (age 25) 0 0   Aston Villa v.   Belgium, 27 October 2023 INJ

MF Katie Zelem (1996-01-20) 20 January 1996 (age 28) 12 0   Manchester United v.   Scotland, 5 December 2023
MF Jordan Nobbs (1992-12-08) 8 December 1992 (age 31) 71 8   Aston Villa v.   Netherlands, 26 September 2023
MF Lucy Staniforth (1992-10-02) 2 October 1992 (age 31) 17 2   Aston Villa v.   Netherlands, 26 September 2023
MF Laura Coombs (1991-01-29) 29 January 1991 (age 33) 7 0   Manchester City v.   Netherlands, 26 September 2023

FW Rachel Daly (1991-12-06) 6 December 1991 (age 32) 84 16   Aston Villa v.   Republic of Ireland, 9 April 2024 RET
FW Katie Robinson (2002-08-08) 8 August 2002 (age 21) 5 0   Brighton & Hove Albion v.   Netherlands, 26 September 2023
FW Bethany England (1994-06-03) 3 June 1994 (age 29) 26 11   Tottenham Hotspur 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup INJ

  • INJ = Withdrew due to injury
  • RET = Retired from international football
  • PRE = Preliminary squad
  • MED = Withdrew on medical grounds
  • WD = Player withdrew from the squad due to non-injury or medical issue

Team captains edit

Since 1972, there have been eleven permanent captains and twenty-seven known captains.

  • Bold indicates current captain
  • Italics indicates still-active players
  •    indicates player was captain for matches under the Women's Football Association[a]
Tenure Incumbent Reserve captains[b]
1972–1976 Sheila Parker[109]
1976–   Carol Thomas (née McCune)[110]
1983: WFA becomes a "County Association" of The Football Association[111]
−1985 Carol Thomas (née McCune)[110]
1985–   Debbie Bampton[106]
1990– Gillian Coultard[112][106]
1993: The team becomes incorporated into The Football Association[113]
−1997 Debbie Bampton[112]
−2000 Gillian Coultard[112]
2000–2001 Mo Marley[112][114]
2001–2002   Tara Proctor[115] Karen Walker,[116] Faye White[116]
2002–2003   Karen Walker[116][117] Mary Phillip[116]
2002–2012   Faye White[116][118][119] Mary Phillip,[116] Kelly Smith,[120] Fara Williams,[116][121] Casey Stoney,[116][122] Rachel Yankey[123]
2012–2014   Casey Stoney[124] Rachel Yankey,[122] Alex Scott,[125] Steph Houghton,[122] Fara Williams,[122] Laura Bassett[122]
2014–2022   Steph Houghton[126] Fara Williams,[122] Karen Bardsley,[122] Jordan Nobbs,[127][128] Jill Scott,[122] Ellen White,[122] Laura Bassett,[122] Lucy Bronze,[129] Keira Walsh,[130] Toni Duggan,[122] Millie Bright,[131][132] Leah Williamson[131]
2022–present   Leah Williamson Millie Bright,[133] Ellen White,[134] Steph Houghton,[135][c] Alex Greenwood,[136] Mary Earps,[137] Keira Walsh[138]

Records edit

As of 9 April 2024

Most capped players edit

 
Fara Williams is England's most capped player and fourth highest goalscorer with 40 goals in 172 appearances between 2001 and 2019.
# Name England career Caps Goals Ref
1 Fara Williams 2001–2019 172 40 [139]
2 Jill Scott 2006–2022 161 27 [140]
3 Karen Carney 2005–2019 144 32 [141]
4 Alex Scott 2004–2017 140 12 [142]
5 Casey Stoney 2000–2018 130 6 [143]
6 Rachel Yankey 1997–2013 129 19
7 Lucy Bronze 2013– 121 15
Steph Houghton 2007– 121 13
9 Gillian Coultard 1981–2000 119 30
10 Kelly Smith 1995–2014 117 46

Bold names denote a player still playing or available for selection.

Top goalscorers edit

 
Ellen White is England's top goalscorer with 52 goals in 113 appearances.
# Name England career Goals Caps Average Ref
1 Ellen White (list) 2010–2022 52 113 0.46 [144]
2 Kelly Smith (list) 1995–2015 46 117 0.39 [145]
3 Kerry Davis 1982–1998 44 82 0.54 [146]
4 Karen Walker 1988–2003 40 83 0.48 [147]
Fara Williams 2001–2019 172 0.23 [139]
6 Hope Powell 1983–1998 35 66 0.53
7 Eniola Aluko 2004–2017 33 102 0.32
8 Beth Mead 2018– 32 55 0.58
Karen Carney 2005–2019 32 144 0.22
10 Gillian Coultard 1981–2000 30 119 0.25

Bold names denote a player still playing or available for selection.

Carol Thomas was the first player to reach 50 caps in 1985, before retiring from representative football later that year, having amassed 56 caps. Fara Williams holds the record for England appearances, having played 172 times since 2001. She overtook previous record holder Rachel Yankey in August 2014, in a friendly against Sweden.[148] Yankey had passed Gillian Coultard's 119 record England women caps in September 2012, in a European qualifying match against Croatia, and Peter Shilton's 125 record England international caps in June 2013, in a friendly against Japan.[149]

Ellen White has scored the most goals for England, with 52. She surpassed Kelly Smith's record on 30 November 2021, scoring a hat-trick against Latvia during a UEFA qualifier for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup where England won 20–0, the Lionesses' biggest-ever competitive win.[150]

Attendance edit

Date Opponent Result
F–A
Venue Attendance Competition
  31 July 2022   Germany 2–1 (a.e.t.) Wembley Stadium, London, England 87,192[151] UEFA Women's Euro 2022 final
  6 April 2023   Brazil 1–1
(4–2 p)
83,132 2023 Women's Finalissima
  9 November 2019   Germany 1–2 77,768[152] Friendly
4 7 October 2022   United States 2–1 76,893[153]
5 12 August 2023   Colombia 2–1 Stadium Australia, Sydney, Australia 75,784 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup quarter-final
16 August 2023   Australia 3–1 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup semi-final
20 August 2023   Spain 0–1 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup final
In England only
Date Opponent Result
F–A
Venue Attendance Competition
  31 July 2022   Germany 2–1 (a.e.t.) Wembley Stadium, London 87,192[151] UEFA Women's Euro 2022 final
  6 April 2023   Brazil 1–1
(4–2 p)
83,132 2023 Women's Finalissima
  9 November 2019   Germany 1–2 77,768[152] Friendly
4 7 October 2022   United States 2–1 76,893[153]
5 1 December 2023   Netherlands 3–2 71,632 2023–24 UEFA Nations League group stage

Competitive record edit

FIFA World Cup edit

 
England reached the final of the world cup in 2023

England have qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup six times (1995, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019, 2023) and failed to qualify for three competitions (1991, 1999, 2003). The England team reached the quarter-finals on three occasions; losing out to Germany in 1995, the United States in 2007 and France on penalties in 2011. In 2015, however, England earned the bronze medal for the first time, under Mark Sampson, by beating Germany in the third place play-off. The team finished in fourth place in 2019 after losing to Sweden in the third place play-off. In 2023, the team achieved their best result, as runners-up to Spain in the final.

FIFA World Cup finals record Qualification record
Year Result Pld W D[d] L GF GA GD Pld W D[d] L GF GA GD
  1991 Did not qualify 6 2 3 1 4 2 +2
  1995 Quarter-finals 4 2 0 2 6 9 −3 6 4 2 0 29 0 +29
  1999 Did not qualify 8 3 0 5 9 12 −3
  2003 10 3 3 4 12 10 +2
  2007 Quarter-finals 4 1 2 1 8 6 +2 8 6 2 0 29 2 +27
  2011 4 2 2 0 6 3 +3 10 9 1 0 35 4 +31
  2015 Third place 7 5 0 2 10 7 +3 10 10 0 0 52 1 +51
  2019 Fourth place 7 5 0 2 13 5 +8 8 7 1 0 29 1 +28
    2023 Runners-up 7 5 1 1 13 4 +9 10 10 0 0 80 0 +80
2027 To be determined To be determined
2031 To be determined To be determined
Total 6/9 33 20 5 8 56 34 +22 76 51 12 10 211 32 +245
  Champions    Runners-up    Third place    Fourth place  
Correct as of 20 August 2023

Olympic Games edit

England does not directly participate in football at the Summer Olympics, as the country does not have its own National Olympic Committee (NOC). Since England falls under the jurisdiction of the British Olympic Association, remit for an Olympic football team requires support from all four Home Nation associations: the Scottish Football Association (SFA), the Football Association of Wales (FAW) and the Irish Football Association (IFA), as well as the English Football Association (FA). In women's football, members of the England team played for the Great Britain women's Olympic football team at both London 2012 (having been granted automatic qualification as the host nation) and Tokyo 2020.[154][155]

With the other Home Nations associations reluctant to give up autonomy in men's football, no agreement could be reached before the qualifying events for Rio 2016, though the women's team would have qualified based on England's results.[154] In 2019, ahead of the qualifying event for Tokyo 2020, an agreement was reached for the women's team that allowed for England, as the highest-ranked Home Nation, to qualify an Olympic team on behalf of Great Britain,[156] which they achieved.[157]

For Paris 2024, England was again selected to attempt to qualify via the 2023–24 Women's Nations League on behalf of Great Britain,[158] but did not achieve this.[159]

UEFA European Championship edit

 
England won the Euros in 2022

England first entered the UEFA Women's Championship in the inaugural 1984 edition, and were runners-up that year and again in 2009. They won the tournament for the first time in 2022. The team have reached the semi-finals on three other occasions (1987, 1995, 2017), but failed to make it out of the group stage in three other editions (2001, 2005, 2013). England did not qualify in 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1997.

UEFA European Championship record Qualifying record
Year Result Pld W D[d] L GF GA Gp Pos Pld W D[d] L GF GA P/R Rnk
        1984 Runners-up 4 3 0 1 4 2 2 1st 6 6 0 0 24 1
  1987 Fourth place 2 0 0 2 3 5 2 1st 6 6 0 0 34 2
  1989 Did not qualify 1 3rd 6 2 1 3 6 10
  1991 3 2nd 8 2 3 3 5 8
  1993 3 1st 6 4 0 2 11 7
        1995 Semi-finals 2 0 0 2 2 6 7 1st 8 6 2 0 33 2
    1997 Did not qualify 3 2nd 8 4 2 2 19 6
  2001 Group stage 3 0 1 2 1 8 2 2nd 8 5 1 2 12 14
  2005 3 1 0 2 4 5 Qualified as host
  2009 Runners-up 6 3 1 2 12 14 1 1st 8 6 2 0 24 4
  2013 Group stage 3 0 1 2 3 7 6 1st 8 6 2 0 22 2
  2017 Semi-finals 5 4 0 1 11 4 7 1st 8 7 1 0 23 1
  2022 Champions 6 6 0 0 22 2 Qualified as host
  2025 To be determined A3[e] 2 1 1 0 3 1
Total 9/13 34 17 3 14 62 53 Total 82 55 15 12 216 58
  Champions    Runners-up    Third place/Semi-finalists    Fourth place    Hosted tournament

Correct as of 9 April 2024

UEFA Nations League edit

England have competed in the UEFA Women's Nations League since its inaugural season in 2023–24, when they narrowly missed out on qualification to the 2024 Finals after finishing behind Netherlands on goal difference.

UEFA Nations League record
League stage Finals[f]
Season Lg Gp Pos Pld W D L GF GA P/R Rnk Year Pos Pld W D[d] L GF GA
2023–24 A 1 2nd 6 4 0 2 15 8   5th 2024 Did not qualify
2025–26 To be determined 2026 To be determined
Total 6 4 0 2 15 8 5th Total 0/1 0 0 0 0 0 0
  Champions    Runners-up    Third place    Fourth place  
Correct as of 5 December 2023

Women's Finalissima edit

Women's Finalissima record
Year Round Position Pld W D[d] L GF GA
  2023 Champions 1st 1 0 1 0 1 1
Total 1 title 1/1 1 0 1 0 1 1

Minor tournaments edit

Year Round Position GP W D[d] L GF GA
  1976 Pony Home Championship Winners, group stage 1st 2 2 0 0 9 1
  1969 Unofficial European Championship Third place 3rd 2 1 0 1 5 4
  1979 Unofficial European Championship Semi-finals 4th 4 2 1 1 6 4
  1981 Mundialito Group stage 3rd 2 1 0 1 4 1
  1984 Mundialito Semi-finals 3rd 4 0 2 2 3 6
  1985 Mundialito Winners 1st 2 3 1 1 13 5
  1988 Mundialito Winners 1st 4 3 1 0 8 2
  1990 North America Cup Group stage 3rd 4 1 1 2 3 7
  2002 Algarve Cup Group stage 9th 4 1 0 3 8 12
  2005 Algarve Cup Group stage 8th 4 3 1 0 13 0
  2007 Four Nations Tournament Group stage 4th 3 0 2 1 3 0
  2009 Cyprus Cup Winners 1st 4 3 1 0 14 3
  2010 Cyprus Cup Group stage 5th 4 2 1 1 6 5
  2010 Peace Queen Cup Group stage 2nd 2 0 2 0 0 0
  2011 Cyprus Cup Group stage 5th 4 2 0 2 4 4
  2012 Cyprus Cup Group stage 4th 4 2 0 2 5 7
  2013 Cyprus Cup Winners 1st 4 3 1 0 12 7
  2014 Cyprus Cup Runners-up 2nd 4 3 0 1 7 2
  2015 Cyprus Cup Winners 1st 4 3 1 0 8 2
  2015 Yongchuan International Tournament Runners-up 2nd 2 1 0 1 2 2
  2016 SheBelieves Cup Group stage 3rd 3 0 1 2 1 3
  2017 SheBelieves Cup Group stage 3rd 3 1 0 2 2 3
  2018 SheBelieves Cup Runners-up 2nd 3 1 1 1 6 4
  2019 SheBelieves Cup Winners 1st 3 2 1 0 7 3
  2020 SheBelieves Cup Group stage 3rd 3 1 0 2 1 3
  2022 Arnold Clark Cup Winners 1st 3 1 2 0 4 2
  2023 Arnold Clark Cup Winners 1st 3 3 0 0 12 2
Total 9 titles 88 44 22 25 162 91

FIFA world rankings edit

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
  13   13   13   13   13   14   14   14   14   14   14   12   13   12   12   12   12   12   10   10   11   11   11   10   10   9   8   8   8   9   9   10   10   6   6   8   9   9   8   8   7   7   11   11   8   8   7   6   6   5   5   5   4   4   5   5   4   5   3   3   2   4   3   4   3   5   5   6   6   6   6   6   6   6   8   8   8   8   4   4   4   4   4   4

Honours edit

Major edit

Minor edit

  • Pony Home Championship
    •   Champions: 1976
  • Mundialito
    •   Champions: 1985, 1988
  • Cyprus Cup
  • SheBelieves Cup
  • Arnold Clark Cup

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ The Women's Football Association fielded their first England team in 1972, and was the governing body of women's football in England until the Football Association incorporated the team in 1993, marking a change in the formal organisation of it.[104] Few of the international matches contested by the team were considered official.[105] In 2019, women's sports history researcher Jean Williams found that "many of the games before 1993 were not recognised as official internationals, [...] and, though recognised by the FA with a virtual cap as representative games, many women players do not have more than one or two caps for their country as a result."[106] The WFA had so little funding that one woman hand-stitched caps for players.[106] The FA announced in 2022 that it would seek to recognise all former women's internationals.[107]
  2. ^ Reserve captains are players that have taken the captain's armband on a one-off match basis when the incumbent permanent captain is unavailable. Unlike unofficial captaincies the player is given the responsibility prior to the game and is officially recognised by the FA as having officially captained England, whereas unofficial captains receive the armband part way through a match due to the substitution or the receiving of a red card by the captain.[108]
  3. ^ Houghton was named a vice-captain but did not wear the armband under Williamson.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Draws include knockout matches decided by penalty shoot-outs.
  5. ^ From Euro 2025 onwards a new qualifying format was introduced, linked to the Women's Nations League where teams are divided into leagues (A–C) and groups (1–5) within each league with promotion/relegation between the leagues at the end of each cycle.
  6. ^ Final tournament involves the top four ranked teams from the league stage and matches are hosted by three of its participants.

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Further reading edit

  • Aluko, Eniola (2019), They Don't Teach This, Random House, ISBN 9781473564480
  • Clarke, Gemma (2019), Soccerwomen: The Icons, Rebels, Stars, and Trailblazers Who Transformed the Beautiful Game, ISBN 9781568589206
  • Caudwell, Jayne (2013), Women's Football in the UK: Continuing with Gender Analyses, Taylor & Francis, ISBN 9781317966234
  • Dunn, Carrie (2019), Pride of the Lionesses: The Changing Face of Women's Football in England, Pitch Publishing (Brighton) Limited, ISBN 9781785315411
  • Dunn, Carrie (2016), The Roar of the Lionesses: Women's Football in England, Pitch Publishing Limited, ISBN 9781785311512
  • Dunn, Edwina (2017), The Female Lead: Women Who Shape Our World, Ebury Publishing, ISBN 9781473529458
  • Grainey, Timothy (2012), Beyond Bend It Like Beckham: The Global Phenomenon of Women's Soccer, University of Nebraska Press, ISBN 0803240368
  • Stay, Shane (2019), The Women's World Cup 2019 Book: Everything You Need to Know About the Soccer World Cup, Books on Demand, ISBN 1782551921
  • Theivam, Keiran and Jeff Kassouf (2019), The Making of the Women's World Cup: Defining stories from a sport's coming of age, Little, ISBN 1472143310

External links edit