Who is watching the group stages?
The rise in popularity of women’s football seems to be an actual thing. The record-breaking crowd in attendance at Old Trafford for the opening game of the Euro 2022 tournament is evidence of this. England won that game 1-0 against Austria, and lots of you — 68,871 to be precise — were enjoying the game in person. Another 2.98 million watched from the comfort of our sofas. The England players smashed a second sell-out record at Southampton, clocking 30,785 spectators in a stadium that can hold 32,000.
The number of fans turning out for the Lionesses games isn’t just a one-off, though. On Day 2 of the tournament, Spain vs. Finland played out in front of 16,819 of you — another record for a match that doesn’t include the host nation. Spain ran out 4-1 winners despite the recent injury of their captain Alexia Putellas just three days before their opening match. However, when the Netherlands played Switzerland, this record fell yet again. The winning Dutch performance was supported by 22,596 fans.
The knockout stages continued to break attendance records
In their quarter-finals, the Lionesses attracted 7.6 million viewers when they beat Spain in extra time. This was more viewers than the men’s Wimbledon final which attracted 7.5 million viewers this year. An additional, and indeed record-breaking 28,994 fans, were at the Amex Brighton and Hove Community Stadium to witness this moment firsthand.Embed from Getty Images
Germany vs. Austria broke the record for biggest attendance in a match not involving the host nation. However, the biggest kudos must go to the UEFA Euros 2022 final match, England vs. Germany. Here the Lionesses finally laid to rest our curse on major tournament finals in front of 87,192 of us. Victorious in their 2-1 extra time win, the players attracted 17.4 million BBC viewers plus 5.9 million streams through the BBC online media. These figures make the final the most watched programme on BBC this year to date. So many attendance records broken.
Match performance records are also smashed
England’s goal tally in the group stages is yet another record in the history of the European Championships. The team scored 14 goals, beating Germany’s previous record of 11 goals scored in 2001. Furthermore, the Lionesses didn’t concede any goals in their group stage matches. Beth Mead won the UEFA Women’s European Championships golden boot and put herself on equal par with Inka Grings’ record for the most goals scored throughout the tournament, with a final tally of six goals. Although not a record, worthy of a mention.Embed from Getty Images
Iceland put up a great performance this year. Sadly though, they are the first team ever to draw three games in their group stage matches and still exit the tournament. Belgium snuck up quietly into the record books making their first foray into the knockout stages of the Euros.
Popp equalled a German record by scoring in four consecutive Euros matches. One of the German striker’s goals was from a shutdown of the Austrian keeper’s clear out, making it a 2-0 victory. Sadly, due to injury, Popp was unable to play in the final, and we wish her well in her recovery.
England Lionesses becoming UEFA Women’s European Champions 2022 is the pinnacle in record-breaking statistics for this tournament though. Using a rather old-fashioned saying, I can truly say, ‘I am chuffed to bits.’