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Euro 2022 team of the tournament

An unlikely hero and a celebrated striker all made the final cut.

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England’s Beth Mead has been a standout star for England (Martin Rickett/PA)

England’s Beth Mead has been a standout star for England (Martin Rickett/PA)

England’s Beth Mead has been a standout star for England (Martin Rickett/PA)

Stars of the future and unlikely heroes have emerged during Euro 2022, while others have cemented themselves as the best on the continent.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the team of the tournament.

Daphne Van Domselaar (Netherlands)

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Dutch keeper Van Domselaar stepped up her game after unexpectedly being called into action (Mike Egerton/PA)

Dutch keeper Van Domselaar stepped up her game after unexpectedly being called into action (Mike Egerton/PA)

PA

Dutch keeper Van Domselaar stepped up her game after unexpectedly being called into action (Mike Egerton/PA)

Netherlands keeper Van Domselaar was not even supposed to start during her side’s title defence but an injury to captain Sari Van Veenendaal in the opening match forced her 22-year-old understudy into the limelight.

She delivered, turning out a tournament-topping 23 saves before her side bowed out to France in the quarter-finals. With Van Veenendaal announcing her retirement this week, Van Domselaar looks set for more regular appearances.

Beth Mead (England)

A shoo-in for this list who could walk away with the Golden Boot after netting six goals in five matches for the Lionesses prior to the final, including a hat-trick in England’s 8-0 group stage win over Norway. It was a decisive victory over a quality side that felt like an early turning point in this tournament, when England started to wonder if it really could come home.

The Arsenal striker, who used her omission from Team GB’s Tokyo Olympics squad last summer to fuel her brilliant Euros, also averaged one assist per match heading into the final.

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Alexandra Popp (Germany)

Mead’s Golden Boot rival netted both goals in Germany’s 2-1 semi-final with France, setting a record in the process. The skipper scored at least once in all five of the eight-time European champions’ matches, with no other player in the competition’s history netting in as many contests in a single Euros.

Injuries prevented Popp from participating in the last two editions, and the Olympic gold medallist has certainly made the most of finally getting to play in 2022.

Alessia Russo (England)

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Russo’s backheel in England’s semi-final is a contender for goal of the tournament (Nick Potts/PA)

Russo’s backheel in England’s semi-final is a contender for goal of the tournament (Nick Potts/PA)

PA

Russo’s backheel in England’s semi-final is a contender for goal of the tournament (Nick Potts/PA)

A few England attackers could claim a spot here, but this tournament has firmly established the 23-year-old as one of the country’s brightest lights of the future. The super-sub scored four times in the lead-up to the final, landing her behind just Mead and Popp on the tournament table despite never starting for Sarina Wiegman.

Russo’s beautiful back-heel in the 68th minute of her side’s 4-0 semi-final victory over Sweden was a perfect emblem of the sort of swagger England have developed over the course of the tournament.

Kosovare Asllani (Sweden)

Asllani converted from the spot in her country’s 5-0 group stage win over Portugal, but it was her ability to set up others that proved most vital in sending her side through to their meeting with England in the semi-finals.

The unselfish team-mate tied England’s Fran Kirby for the second-most assists, teeing up Jonna Andersson’s vital strike in their 1-1 group stage opener with the Netherlands, and covered the second-highest distance of any player in the Euros.

Keira Walsh (England)

Walsh’s skill and patience in midfield have been critical in the build-up to England’s tournament-leading 20 goals prior to the final – seven more than the second-placed Germans. She has been praised by team-mate Jill Scott for her intelligence on the pitch, commanding and breaking up play with equal measure and achieving an impressive 90.2 per cent passing accuracy, as well as two assists, through the end of the semi-finals.

Lena Oberdorf (Germany) 

Many have pointed to the battle in midfield as what could decide Sunday’s final, with Oberdorf’s name the most frequently cited as a possible spoiler to England’s trophy hopes. The 20-year-old already has experience on the big stage, having made history in 2019 as the youngest World Cup player for her country.

Her ability to anticipate play, time her challenges, and tournament-leading 20 tackles have put the Wolfsburg standout in contention for Player of the Tournament.

Lina Magull (Germany)

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Oberdorf is not the only anchoring German force in midfield, with Lina Magull also adding a composed and intimidating presence for Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side. The versatile Bayern Munich star, who will boast England’s Georgia Stanway as a team-mate this season, also has two goals and one assist in four matches this tournament.

Millie Bright (England)

The Lionesses have not just scored the most goals so far in these Euros – they have also conceded just one, in their quarter-final clash with Spain. Much of this has to do with the impressive performance put in by centre-back Bright, who has anchored England’s back line and provided steady assurance when her team-mates have relinquished possession in dangerous areas.

It has been enough to impress former Lioness Fara Williams, who said the Chelsea star was England’s best player of the competition.

Sakina Karchaoui (France) 

Karchaoui was instrumental in earning France a trip to the semi-finals, her 42 balls recovered putting her behind just England skipper Leah Williamson in the overall tournament table. The speedy PSG defender also turned provider twice in their opening matches to help France finish top of group D.

Mapi Leon (Spain) 

England knew they faced a different challenge when they lined up against Spain in their quarter-final clash following dominant group stage wins over their Group A opponents.

Jorge Vilda’s side’s tournament-leading possession and passing accuracy, combined with their masterful, tiki-taka style seemed to flummox the Lionesses, who were goalless through the first half. Leon’s 39 balls recovered were good enough for third overall, while the Barcelona star also took a tournament-leading 22 corners.


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