England captain Leah Williamson lifts the Euro 2022 trophy to the Wembley sky and lets out a yell of joy, swiftly joined by the other 87,000+ in attendance to witness this moment. England are the European Champions for the first time, and the names of their squad and manager will be etched in English football’s history. 

It’s a tournament no England fan will ever forget – but even outside of this country, Euro 2022 is sure to be remembered for a long, long time.

Records tumble as fans flock to see Europe’s best

So many attendance records were smashed during Euro 2022 that it was hard to keep track. Over 68,000 packed Old Trafford for England’s first game, obliterating the previous record attendance for a Women’s Euro game. The record attendance for a group game not involving the host nation was broken several times in a matter of days.

Fittingly, the England v Germany final was watched by the biggest crowd in Euros history – for both men and women. A total of 87,192 fans crammed into Wembley Stadium to see England triumph in the Euro 2022 final, taking the total attendance for the tournament to 574,875 – yet another record.

Favourites fill the knockout rounds, but underdogs have their day

There were not too many shocks over the identity of the eight Euro 2022 quarter-finals, although Belgium sprang a surprise by dispatching Italy and giving Sweden a scare in the knockouts.

Even with so many favourites progressing deep into the tournament, the group stage brought plenty of memorable moments, even for nations who ended up heading home early. Northern Ireland’s tournament debut was rewarded with a joyous goal by Julie Nelson against Norway. Iceland grabbed a late draw with France to preserve a proud unbeaten record in the groups, celebrated in typical thunderclap-style by their fans.

Portugal were only at Euro 2022 after Russia were disqualified, but they did their country proud with a thrilling comeback draw against Switzerland. Even winless Finland gave Spain an almighty shock when Linda Sallstrom scored inside 60 seconds in their opening game. It was a tournament with something for everyone to celebrate.

Beth Mead named Best Player

We were deprived of a shootout between England’s Beth Mead and Germany’s Alexandra Popp after the latter sadly picked up an injury before the Euro 2022 final. That clinched the Golden Boot award for Mead, who struck six times through the tournament including a devastating hat-trick in the 8-0 thrashing of Norway.

Mead also collected three assists and was named Euro 2022 Best Player in addition to being the top-scorer. It seems remarkable that she was omitted from England’s squad for the Tokyo Olympics last year – expect to see Mead in that Lionesses’ starting XI for years to come.

Germany’s midfield star Lena Oberdorf picked up the Young Player of the Tournament award and the 20-year-old will hope to carry her side one step further at the next Euros.

Keepers catch the eye

There were goals galore at Euro 2022, although that was by no means a slight on the standard of defending and goalkeeping. Quite the opposite, as several shot-stoppers turned in blinding performances throughout the tournament, occasionally keeping the opposition at bay single-handed.

Netherlands’ Daphne van Domselaar was thrust into action after injury to the experienced Sari van Veenendaal and excelled in the Dutch goal. Although Netherlands eventually fell to France in the quarter-finals, Van Domselaar repelled them time and again. Nicky Evrard played a similarly heroic role as Belgium couldn’t quite hang on against Sweden.

England may have only conceded twice in the entire tournament, but were indebted to two huge saves from Mary Earps in the knockouts. The first kept the deficit to just one against Spain, before England went down the other end and equalised. Then, in the semi-final, Earps produced a gravity-defying stop from Stina Blackstenius to preserve England’s lead and earn a standing ovation from the Bramall Lane crowd.

The backheel heard around the world

It was a Euros filled with great moments. Georgia Stanway’s screamer against Spain. Alexandra Popp celebrating her first-ever Euros goal (swiftly followed by her second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth). Julie Nelson scoring Northern Ireland’s first-ever major tournament goal. Belgium stunning Italy. France’s electric strike force. England scoring a record eight times against Norway.

Chloe Kelly’s wild celebration may yet be the defining image of Euro 2022, but in the semi-final there was a moment of footballing audacity that broke social media. England’s Alessia Russo produced a stunning backheel through the legs of Sweden’s Hedvig Lindahl, cementing the Lionesses’ place in the final and prompting shocked reactions not just from those in the stadium but those around the globe. Even the great American player Abby Wambach commented that she had dreamt of scoring a goal like that her whole life.

With one flash of unbelievable improvisation, Russo had written her name in football history and ensured millions of young fans will be practising their own backheels and dreaming of one day replicating Russo’s strike on the big stage.

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