Euros 2022: England-Germany injects rivalry into football love story

Ann-Katrin Berger and Jess Carter of Chelsea celebrate winning the Vitality Women's FA Cup Final between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Wembley Stadium on December 05, 2021. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

When England and Germany face off Sunday, they’ll do so as rivals. But two of the players on the opposing sides will do so as a couple.

Mixed into the storylines ahead of Sunday’s matchup – including the race for the Golden Boot between Beth Mead and Alexandra Popp – is the love story of England’s Jess Carter and Germany’s Ann-Katrin Berger. The two first met at Birmingham City as teammates and now play together at Chelsea.

“I think I was – and probably still am – more comfortable than Ann is with publicizing our relationship,” Carter said in an article for the England Football website in December. “But that is just because Ann is a very private person whereas I am more of a ‘the whole world could know and I wouldn’t really care’ kind of person.”

The duo isn’t the first women’s soccer power couple. Sam Kerr and Kristie Mewis have been open about their relationship, with Kerr recently discussing it on the Snacks podcast. There has also long been speculation about a relationship between Tobin Heath and Christen Press, who recently walked the red carpet together at the ESPYs.

Sweden’s Magdalena Eriksson and Denmark’s Pernille Harder – who also both play at Chelsea – are also in a relationship that went viral when their kiss was caught on camera at the 2019 World Cup.

Carter says that over time Berger has gotten used to the publicity of the relationship.

“She doesn’t shout from the rooftop about it but equally when she is asked it is not a secret either,” she continued. “Not everybody is as comfortable announcing to the world who they are with but I think that is the same in straight and gay relationships.”

Carter is a defender and Berger a goalkeeper. Both have spent the Euros as substitutes and will likely start the Sunday final on the bench. But that hasn’t stopped Chelsea from poking fun, with the club taking to Instagram following Germany’s win over France.

“Well well well, we’ll be seeing you both at Wembley!” they wrote.

England and Germany will face off in the Euros final at 12 p.m. ET Sunday on ESPN.