IT can be dangerous ground for any man, particularly one who does not habitually follow women’s football, to wade in with his tuppence worth when the women’s game is in the news. At worst, you have the plethora of Neanderthalic takes about female goalkeepers, and at best, even the well-intentioned can come across as condescending.

With that in mind, like the most self-assured mansplainers of social media, I’ll plough ahead in any case.

Perhaps the biggest compliment I can pay the players of the English national team who have so inspired their country - and no doubt millions of others - with their run to the final of the European Championships, is that I don’t necessarily want them to win.

Yes, it may be horribly petty and narrow-minded of me, but as a Scotland fan, it would surely be patronising if I put that rivalry to the side just because this is the women’s team.

Oh no, just as I wasn’t cheering on Gareth Southgate’s team against Italy at Wembley last summer, neither shall I be rooting for Sarina Wiegman’s side when they face Germany in London on Sunday night. It’s the least they deserve.

What these championships have shown is that women’s football has the capacity to engage and enthral huge audiences of football fans, and though I maintain my right to the hefty chip on my shoulder over any England team, perhaps the best thing that will come out of the success of the tournament will be that we stop comparing it to the men’s game altogether.

The scenes of young girls dancing in the packed stands were brilliant to see, and as they grow up, it will likely never occur to them that women’s football was ever something that was pushed to the margins. Girls play football, just as boys do, and that such a notion was ever anything other than ‘normal’ will be a strange thought to them.

The incredible backheel goal by England striker Alessia Russo against Sweden in the semi-finals is already an iconic moment for those fans of the English team, and won’t be tarnished by Barry, the 45-year-old tubby goalkeeper from the Dog and Duck insisting he would have saved it.

What has also been refreshing about the Euros though is that it has shown plainly that women’s football has its own culture and identity, and that it is in fact detrimental to be discussing it in comparison to the men’s version of the sport.

For instance, those commentators who are saying the women might be the ones to eventually end England’s 56 years of hurt if they win a major tournament are no doubt well-meaning, but like it or not, that simply won’t be the case for tens of thousands of supporters who follow the men’s team. And you know what? That’s absolutely fine.

The women’s team have their own huge following, and the joy their success will bring to them will be immeasurable. There is sure to be lots of crossover support of course, but just as there are lots of women who would be turned off the men’s game due to the culture that surrounds it, so too are there plenty of men out there who follow the men’s game who can barely raise a scintilla of interest in the women’s sport.

Frankly, the women’s game has now reached a point where they no longer should feel the need to beg for attention from those who will always be indifferent to it.

As long as those fans of the men’s game don’t feel the need to disparage the women’s game for purely sexist reasons, then the focus should be on increasing participation further and engaging with those open to it, and who may be attracted to women’s football precisely because it differs from the men’s game both on and off the park.

It will be interesting to see if England’s success has any residual effect north of the border. Our own national team have had some notable successes in recent years, but attendances have yet to really explode in the same way that they have in the larger nations across Europe.

The record attendance for a Scotland women’s match remains the World Cup send-off against Jamaica back in 2019 that drew 17,555 spectators to Hampden. The record for a competitive match is now 7804, which was set when Spain came calling to the national stadium back in April. Evidence that the game is growing here, but hopefully some further success for Pedro Martinez Losa’s side can keep those figures inching in the right direction.

As the Euros have shown, female footballers are hugely skilled, dedicated, elite athletes. They are an inspiration to countless young people. They should be recognised for that in their own right without commentators and pundits continually measuring them against their male counterparts.

With the exception of one key area of course – rivalry. Altogether now...‘Uber Alles, uber alles…’