Player of the Weekend: Amandine Henry
Despite the advantage of a home crowd, being the host nation of a major tournament is never easy.
The expectation is high, especially in a country with a footballing pedigree as high as France. Add to that being the star player of the team and suddenly there is a whole lot of weight on the shoulders… but it’s nothing that Amandine Henry can’t deal with.
This summer’s Women’s World Cup has already been an enthralling festival of one of the sport, and when a last 16 clash pitted France and Brazil together we were all set for a flamboyant, fiercely competitive affair. Some of the game’s most recognisable and talented figures, from Wendy Renard to Marta, took to the field in a classic encounter.
Impossible to call, it turned out that the extra bit of magic from being host, that extra sense of responsibility in front of the home crowd, may have made all the difference. A 1-1 draw went to an extra-time period that the game surely deserved, before their captain, the player tasked more than any other with embodying the hopes of every French fan and every French girl watching, settled the tie.
Henry has been on fine form over the past few weeks, both on the pitch and off of it and she cools pressure on her teammates whilst ramping up support from her countrymen and women across France. Her deft, flicked finish that won the game was symbolic of a French side that was just able to stretch out their neck and their toes that little bit longer, as they look to make this a summer to remember…