This summer's competition is expected to smash viewing records, but can England become World Champions?
The Women’s World Cup gets underway in France on Friday and with a billion people expected to tune all over the globe, Alex Scott says it will be be the biggest tournament in the event’s 28 year history!
The hosts will kick things off when they play the opening game against South Korea on Friday night, but the standard is higher than ever and they won’t be the only team dreaming of lifting the trophy in Lyon next month.
England are among the favourites, but the ‘Lionesses’ face a tough task in their opening fixture, a match against old rivals Scotland on Sunday evening.
We spoke to former England player and Match of the Day pundit Alex Scott, who stars in Nike’s stylish new football advert, to find out more about the Women’s World Cup
How has women’s football changed over the last few years?
Alex Scott: “With more players turning professional, the quality has risen another level since the last tournament in 2015. There’s been more investment and better coaching, which means the standard is higher than ever. There will be some very good players on show over the next month and I’ve heard a billion people will be tuning in around the world, which will be more people watching the games than ever before, so it could be a watershed moment for women’s football!”
Can England win the Women’s World Cup?
AS :”The Lionesses have every opportunity to do really well. Phil Neville’s girls are ranked third in the world after beating the US to win the SheBelieves Cup in March, so there will be a bit of expectation, but hopefully the players can use the extra pressure to their advantage. This is what they’ve trained for, so I think they’ll be more excited than nervous, although they face a tough opening game against Scotland on Sunday!”
What does it feel like to represent your country at a World Cup?
AS: “Playing for Team GB in front of 80,000 people at Wembley for the 2012 Olympics was a special moment and I was so lucky to be in the squad that did so well in Canada last time. The support the public gave us was amazing and it felt like everyone fell in love with the team. A record 2m people tuned in to watch the semi-final, so we were proud to be able to bring a bronze medal for them by beating Germany in the third place play-off. With the games being held in France, there should be more evening kick-offs so hopefully even more be able to watch this time!”
We’re getting used to seeing you on Match of the Day now!
AS: “I love doing MOTD, I feel like a big kid sitting there because I get to talk about football. I had this amazing career as professional footballer and now I still involved in the game and being a pioneer for women in sport is amazing.”
Do you think footy fans have taken to you?
‘A small minority say a woman shouldn’t be on TV talking about football, but things are changing so jump on board and get with it. Having said that most people have been so kind since I started on Match of the Day. Just this morning someone rode past me on a bike and shouted ‘Alex you’re great!’ which is so nice.”