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FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023: Who are the finalists?

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023: Who are the finalists?
Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Euronews
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In partnership with Media City Qatar. Just two matches remain and the two finalists are about to go head-to-head in a bid to lift the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.

After almost four weeks of football and 62 games, Spain and England will go head to head to win the 2023 FIFA Womens World Cup.


The traditional third-place playoff will take place in Brisbane on Saturday before Sunday's showpiece final match.

Regardless of what happens, there will be a new name on the trophy as both nations have never won the competition.

We've witnessed some of the most dramatic moments the sport has ever seen. Viewing figures are at an all-time high as interest in the women's game has gained tremendous momentum. Fans inside the stadiums have also loved every second. Australia and New Zealand have done their best to host a tournament to remember.

"Australia isn't known for being a football nation. In fact, most of our Matildas play overseas," explained Maddie Date, producer for ABC Illawarra, "so to now have this level of growth and so many eyes on us across the world, it's just been incredible. There'll be so many more football fans now in Australia for years to come, and I guess that's been the main aim of having the entire tournament here in the first place."

Spain has defied the odds and made it to the World Cup final for the first time. The La Roja had plenty of disruptions to deal with along the way, including a breakdown between 15 senior players and the manager, Jorge Vilda. The players accused Vilda of being too authoritarian, and his standard of training and tactics were not the same as at their clubs.

Abbie Parr/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
Spain made the final after beating SwedenAbbie Parr/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved

Only three out of the 15 players in this dispute made it into the WWC squad, and their importance during the tournament has been outstanding. Centre-back Irene Paredes, along with midfielders Aintana Bonmatí and Alexia Putellas, have been essential to their route to the final. Bonmatí, in particular, has been called the player of the tournament so far.

Spain has been defensively strong throughout the tournament. Despite the strong start, they lost to Japan's counter-attacking playing style. England will no doubt look at Japan's performance to assess how they can exploit Spain's fragility against fast-transitioning football.

Spain's opponents, England, are the current European champions. The Lionesses have never played in a final and have been knocked out in the semi-finals twice. Under manager Sarina Wiegman, their form has been electric, and they will be looking to add a World Cup to that European crown.

England had a composed start to the tournament this summer, with a 1-0 win over Haiti, who are ranked 53rd in the world. But doubts were quickly quashed as convincing wins over Denmark and China. England looked like they were on their way to winning the group with maximum points. 

Until they met with Nigeria and what proved to be the most challenging game of their tournament so far. Nigeria dominated the Lionesses for 120 minutes. Frustrations grew, and star forward Lauren James was sent off for violent conduct after a moment of madness. England pushed through to keep the scoreline at 0-0 and secure passage to the quarter-finals on penalties. Wins over Colombia and co-hosts Australia earned them a place in Sunday's final.

Alessandra Tarantino/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
England celebrate after reaching their first World Cup finalAlessandra Tarantino/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved

England met Spain last summer in the quarter-finals of that Euros triumph, helped by a brilliant strike from midfielder Georgia Stanway. They had the home fans behind them in 2022. It might be a different prospect in Sydney, with many Spain fans having made the journey to cheer on their team. However, the Lionesses have a fully fit squad, and Lauren James will make a return to action after serving a suspension.

England and Spain have never made it this far. Despite all the injury setbacks and disruptions to Spain's preparations in the lead-up to the tournament, La Roja have proved they deserve a place in the final. England, for their part, has experience consistency and chemistry on their side but, as a nation, has yet to play in a World Cup Final since 1966. The pressure is truly on their shoulders. 

The tournament's final game will be played at Stadium Australia in front of a record number of fans. History will be made as a first-time FIFA Women's World Cup winner is guaranteed.

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