England Women’s captain Steph Houghton says it will “mean everything” to lead her country at Wembley Stadium this afternoon.
Mark Sampson’s side entertain European champions Germany at the Home of Football in a tantalising end of season international.
It will be the first time the Women’s team have appeared at the stadium since it re-opened and Houghton, who scored the winner for Team GB against Brazil at Wembley during London 2012, cannot wait to walk out of the famous tunnel.
England Women v Germany
Breast Cancer Care International
3pm, Sunday 23 November
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
Live on BBC Two
She told FATV: “It will mean everything. That’s what you play football for.
“It’s a great honour to represent your country but to lead the girls in an England shirt is going to be a very special moment.
“We’ve had five or six really good training sessions. The energy is there, the buzz is there and everybody can’t wait to get out there.”
England made it through to next summer’s World Cup courtesy of a flawless qualifying campaign. They won all 10 matches, scored 52 goals and conceded only once.
But Houghton knows Germany will provide a far tougher test. They are ranked second in the world behind USA, they won the 2003 and 2007 World Cups and have won each of the last six European Championships.
England have never beaten Germany in 19 attempts.
Houghton added: “We know what Germany are capable of. They are one of the best in the world and we know it’s going to be a very difficult task.
“They have got players that can win games and they are very disciplined and organised in defence. We need to try and exploit their weaknesses as much as possible.”
The 26-year-old continued: “We are really happy with our World Cup qualification [campaign].
“We are improving with each game. We want to try and improve in any area [so that] we can go and compete with the best in the world.”