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In Focus: The standout stars of England's famous triumph
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Matthew Storey

England are European champions and the 23 members of their squad will go down as legends of the game.

Sarina Wiegman has transformed the Lionesses’ fortunes during her 10 months in charge and is yet to taste defeat as manager. 

But who were the standout stars of their run to glory? It is not easy picking five, but we have tried our best.

Beth Mead

Beth Mead was not the star of the final but she was certainly the tournament’s brightest spark.

The Arsenal winger, 27, took home the Player of the Tournament award and also grabbed the Golden Boot thanks to her six goals and five assists.

Netting the winner in Euro 2022's opening clash against Austria, baging a memorable hat-trick against Norway and opening the scoring in the 4-0 semi-final rout of Sweden, Mead really was the star of the show.

She is just the fifth England player to top the scoring charts in a major tournament, alongside Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer, Jodie Taylor and Harry Kane.

It is a remarkable turnaround after being left out of the Great Britain squad for last year’s Olympic games.

Leah Williamson

Leah Williamson has led England with authority and performed on the pitch
Leah Williamson has led England with authority and performed on the pitch

Leah Williamson and Bobby Moore — the only senior England captains to ever lift a major trophy.

The comparisons do not end there either, given Moore was a 25-year-old Rolls Royce of a centre-back in 1966, much like the skipper has been this summer.

Williamson took over as captain from Steph Houghton ahead of the tournament and proved to be an inspired choice.

Her Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall said: "Leah Williamson hasn’t put a foot wrong. And she’s still so young.

"This is her first time starting games in a major tournament. As a captain she’s been a phenomenal leader."

Alessia Russo

England were the first ever side to name the same starting XI in each of their games at the Euros, meaning Alessia Russo was always on the bench.

But that did not stop the Manchester United forward from having a huge impact as Ellen White’s replacement in the second half of each match.

Russo scored four goals in the six matches, as well as setting up another one.

Undoubtedly her biggest moment was a sublime goal against Sweden — a moment that will be replayed again and again over the years.

After her first effort was saved, the audacity to try, and then successfully pull off, a back-heel made her a household name instantly.

Keira Walsh

Keira Walsh's displays in midfield have seen her praised by members of the men's team
Keira Walsh's displays in midfield have seen her praised by members of the men's team

The calm and composed presence in central midfield that helped keep England ticking over, Keira Walsh won a lot of admirers this summer.

Walsh, 25, completed 88.5% of her passes over the six games, won the ball back 29 times and even notched three assists for good measure.

One of them was the brilliant ball over the top to set up Toone’s opener at Wembley and she has received plaudits from all corners of the game.

Declan Rice and Raheem Sterling have both tweeted praise for the City star, while ex-Lioness Lianne Sanderson had another comparison.

She said: "If you are looking at it from a football perspective, you watch the game properly, [she is] similar to N’Golo Kante. He is unbelievable, she is unbelievable. She really is brilliant."

Mary Earps

Criticising goalkeepers has been a favourite pastime of those keen to knock the women’s game down at every opportunity — but Mary Earps has shut those naysayers up.

Beaten only twice in the entire tournament, Earps has stepped up in big moments in both the semi-final and final.

She produced two wonderful saves at Bramall Lane before her calm and composed display at Wembley helped set the tone.

And when she tipped Lina Magull’s thunderbolt onto the bar, got up and blocked Lea Schuller’s follow up, you sensed it was the Lionesses’ day.

Like Mead, Earps was left out of the Olympics last year but has bounced back with authority and more than justified Wiegman’s faith in her. 


Women’s Euro 2022England
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