'Winning Ground' has long been the slogan for UEFA Women's EURO 2013 – it is now also the name of the official tournament anthem.
Swedish pop star Eric Saade premiered the tune on Monday at Solna's Friends Arena, which will stage the 28 July final. "I love football so I'm honoured to be doing this," said Saade, who has co-written the song with, among others, Stefan Örn, the nephew of Sweden coach Pia Sundhage, herself noted for her singing.
Also present at the stadium were Sweden's Lisa Dahlkvist and three of her Tyresö FF club-mates who hope to be in action at the finals – Denmark's Line Røddik Hansen, Spain's Verónica Boquete and the Netherlands' Kirsten van de Ven. "It would be so cool to be here again for the final," Røddik Hansen told UEFA.com. "It's a dream. We have to believe we can go that far."
Her Denmark side will be in the opening game against hosts Sweden at what is expected to be a packed Gamla Ullevi in Gothenburg on 10 July. Dahlkvist said: "Playing at home means a lot, having the crowd behind you. I think that is one of many factors in our favour."
The next day the Netherlands face Germany in Vaxjo, a daunting prospect for winger Van de Ven. "Germany are of course huge favourites – they've won it the past five times," she said. "I think we are pretty evenly matched with Norway and Iceland though."
While Van de Ven, Dahlkvist and Røddik Hansen were all in Finland for UEFA Women's EURO 2009, Boquete and her Spain team-mates are set for a new experience as they take on England, France and Russia. "For us it's history, so we're really excited," explained the Tyresö midfielder. Referring to her country's last participation at this level in 1997, Boquete added: "We've prepared for the past 15 years, so we're ready."
The fact Monday's launch took place at the final venue was certainly something the players appreciated. As Boquete told UEFA.com: "Being on the pitch where the final will be played, seeing the trophy and the official ball – it makes me wish it could start tomorrow!"
Winning Ground is out now on iTunes and Spotify.
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