23 February 2020

Lionesses to open 2021 Euro's at Manchester United's Old Trafford

England women will play the opening match of the 2021 European Championship at Manchester United's Old Trafford - something of a homecoming for manager Phil Neville.

The 76,000-capacity stadium - home for a large part of Neville's playing and coaching career - is one of the ten venues which will be used across the country. 

And the Euro final will be held at Wembley on August 1.

Neville said: "[The planning of the tournament] probably started five or six years ago and [what] we were looking at then was to get as many people as possible into smaller stadiums. Now we're thinking Old Trafford for the first game of the Euros.

"I think we should all be proud of the work that's being done. It is a brave and unbelievably correct decision by the FA to say 'the game has gone so far so let's take it to a bigger place' and I think it will be one of those occasions you will remember for a long, long time in your career."

The match opens the door for the women to break the 40,301 attendance record in the competition, set in Germany's 1-0 win over Norway in the 2013 final in Sweden.

He added: "What we have to do now is to expose our players to big occasions so when they come to Old Trafford it's just like another occasion - it's like going into your grandmother's front room, having a cup of tea. That's how it should be."

Arsenal and England midfielder Jordan Nobbs said: "It's incredible. The whole tournament is exciting for us. Every time we play at a big stadium, or at Wembley, it's another amazing time for the women's game and for us as players to look forward to."

Other venues set to host matches at the Euro's include Bramall Lane in Sheffield, Leigh Sports Village and Brighton & Hove Community Stadium. 

The 2021 Euro's will start on July 7 and finish on August 1. 

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