Jill Scott says it will be a “very defining moment for the sport” when England take on Germany in Sunday’s Euro 2022 final.
The competition takes place to a packed Wembley Stadium as the Lionesses attempt to claim the first major trophy in their history.
Their last appearance in a major tournament final was at Euro 2009 in Finland, where they were beaten 6-2 by Germany to take second place for the second time.
Midfielder Scott, who was part of the team that day and is in her eighth tournament with England this summer, said: “I think it’s a very defining moment.
“I think there have been a lot of things that have happened along the way that have kind of advanced the sport.
“It’s hard when you’re inside because logically you only think about the next game, meetings, training sessions, we don’t really see all the noise from the outside – but the things we’ve heard have been very positive.
“We are very happy to be there on Sunday, I think the best two teams have reached the final which is great and I think it will be a very defining moment for the sport.”
Describing the difference between 2009 and now in terms of things like attendance and professionalism, the 35-year-old was “like night and day” and said: “We don’t want to forget everyone who was there before and wore the jersey because that’s what we’re for here today.
“It’s going to be a great moment – even thinking about it I think my voice is fading a little bit. We just have to try to stay logical and it’s another game to go out and achieve our dreams.”
Scott added: “We’ve said before we wanted to really inspire the nation, make everyone proud, our families, our friends, we wanted to create more opportunities for young people, more opportunities for women who want to work in football, we wanted to get that Sport the respect it deserves. I think we all ticked those boxes.
“I think it’s been an incredible journey so far, we’ve ticked a lot of boxes and hopefully there’s one big tick left.”
Asked what it would mean for women’s football in England if Sarina Wiegman’s side win on Sunday, Scott said: “I think it will be a turning point. I think this tournament has already done that, but we know that that extra step on Sunday could really make a big difference.
“I would be lying if I said it doesn’t cross your mind to win it because you’re going to Wembley and it crosses my mind probably 50 times a day. But suddenly you think we have practice, we have to focus on the task at hand and it’s going to be such a difficult game.
“Germany are always such a tough opponent and we will give them the utmost respect – but you can’t help but dream a little.”
As well as losing in 2009, Scott was also part of England sides to be beaten in the semi-finals of their last three major tournaments, moments where she says: ‘Really hurts and motivates you’.
The former Manchester City player – who came on three times as a substitute at this European Championship, has amassed a total of 160 caps for England and has also played at two Olympics – was asked if Sunday’s game was elimination.
And she said: “I said that ahead of this tournament I would give absolutely anything to get into the squad first and foremost – I spoke about how talented the group is and it would be a task in itself to do it get it here – and then just give it your all every day to be a good teammate and try to push the team.
“That took a lot of energy over the last three months, and then I think… I don’t know. The answer is I actually don’t know.
“I’ll see how this week looks and then there will probably need to be some talks next week and then make a decision.”
Scott is currently without a club, having left City this summer at the end of her contract.