England hero Chloe Kelly has said she was living the dream after leading her country to glory at Euro 2022.
Ellie came off the bench to score the winning goal in the 110th minute to give the Lionesses a 2–1 victory over Germany in the final at Wembley.
After Ella Thun’s first game was canceled in regular time by Lina Magull, the Manchester City striker from close range lit up euphoric scenes at the national stadium as England won a major tournament for the first time.
Kelly was more interested in singing Sweet Caroline than answering questions in her TV interview, but she said it was her childhood dream.
“Oh my God, look at them, they are amazing, thank you to every single person who has supported us,” she said on BBC broadcast, pointing to the crowd in the background. “This is unreal… Dear Caroline!
“This is amazing, thank you all, this is what young girls who watch women’s football dream of. Wow, that’s incredible.”
Kelly’s story is made all the more memorable by the fact that she only returned from a serious cruciate ligament injury in April.
She added: “Thank you to everyone who was involved in my rehabilitation. I always believed I would be here, but being here and scoring the winning goal is wow. These girls are amazing.
“This is amazing, I just want to celebrate it right now.”
England’s first success was Sarina Wigman, who won consecutive European Championships following her success in 2017 with the Netherlands.
The Dutch woman said: “We won the cup. It’s incredible. It’s incredible.
“If you really want to win and get better every single day, that’s what I’ve noticed and it’s unbelievable they want to do it together.
“We agreed on a couple things about behavior and it wasn’t just words, we lived it. The game was so tight, there was a little fight, but who cares, we won 2:1. We are European champions.
“We broke the barriers against Spain and we had to do it again. I don’t have any secrets. I don’t think I understand what’s going on, I need time.”
After the tournament posted record attendances, including the highest attendance ever in a European Championship final, England captain Lea Williamson wants this success to mean something going forward.
She said: “The legacy of this tournament is changing society, that’s all we did, we brought everyone together, we have people at the games.
“We want them to come to WSL games, the legacy is that this team is a winner and that’s the start of the journey.”
Williamson also called the victory “the proudest moment of my life”.
“I just can’t stop crying,” she told BBC One.
“Something like this, we are talking, talking, talking, talking and finally we did it. It’s about doing it on the pitch and I’ll tell you what, the kids are fine.
“This is the proudest moment of my life until the day I have children, I guess. I take everything into consideration, every piece of advice was taken every second so that I can live through this forever. I will relive this for a long time to come.”
Beth Meade won the Golden Boot and was named Player of the Tournament 12 months after she was excluded from the UK Olympic team at the Tokyo Games.
“I can’t believe it, sometimes football puts you in a rut, but the best way to come to your senses is what we did,” she said.
“I’m speechless, I can’t take it all, I’m still in shock. I can’t believe we won, I just can’t, it’s crazy.
“I am so, so proud of this team. I love this team and I love this country.”