Women’s Euro 2022 – team of the group stages

The Euro 2022 group stages drew to a close on Monday, with 16 teams whittled down to eight for the knockout stages.

England, Germany, Sweden and France all impressed at points to top their respective groups, while Belgium and Austria both sprung a surprise to qualify for the quarter finals. Spain and the Netherlands complete the final eight.

But which players have particularly caught the eye? Here’s 90min’s team of the group stages…

Nicky Evrard

Nicky Evrard has been instrumental for Belgium / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/GettyImages

GK: Nicky Evrard (Belgium) – Evrard produced two penalty saves in Belgium’s opening two games, in addition to a flurry of fine saves – particularly impressing in one v one situations. She impressed again during the Red Flames’ final group match, keeping a clean sheet as Belgium beat Italy 1-0 to secure their quarter final spot. Belgium would likely not have reached the knockout stages without the excellence of Evrard.

RB: Laura Wienroither (Austria) – Key to Austria’s progression has been their steely defence, conceding just one goal during the group stages. The tenacious Wienroither thoroughly impressed in her two outings, keeping the usually destructive Lauren Hemp quiet in her side’s opener against England, and helping to preserve a clean sheet in Austria’s crucial 1-0 win over Norway. A terrific one against one defender.

CB: Millie Bright (England) – While the Lionesses’ forwards have stolen the headlines as England have sent goal scoring records tumbling, Bright has been pivotal in ensuring her side are yet to concede this tournament. She turned in a colossal performance against Austria to ease the nerves and see England to a narrow 1-0 win, before marking the world class Ada Hegerberg out of the game against Norway with her strength, aggression and anticipation.

CB: Marina Hegering (Germany) – Germany are also yet to concede this tournament, with Hegering one half of a mean central defensive partnership alongside the equally impressive Kathrin Hendrich. Hegering was particularly impressive during Germany’s 2-0 win over Spain – a pivotal result in them topping the group – maintaining her focus to nullify wave after wave of Spanish attack.

LB: Sakina Karchaoui (France) – It takes a big player to keep Selma Bacha out of the side, and Karchaoui has been well worth her place in the France starting XI with a series of impressive displays.

The left back has been a real attacking asset for France, with her assist for her side’s second against Italy exemplifying her strengths – so dynamic, energetic, and with a terrific delivery from wide areas. The 26-year-old has combined particularly well with Delphine Cascarino, giving the French a frightening left flank.


Geyoro netted a hat-trick in France’s opening game / FRANCK FIFE/GettyImages

Keira Walsh (England) – Walsh has been England’s understated difference maker this tournament. Her ability to shield the back four with her impeccable reading of the game was instrumental in her side’s victory over Norway. Walsh’s passing has been adventurous and near exemplary, and she has made the Lionesses tick. She just edges it over Germany’s Lena Oberdorf for the deep lying midfield role.

Grace Geyoro (France) – Geyoro hit a stunning first half hat-trick as France beat Italy 5-1, fizzing with energy and timing her arrival into the box perfectly on each occasion. Full of running, she has left opposition midfielders trailing in her wake with her bursts forward from deep.

Kosovare Asllani (Sweden) – Sweden’s star player thus far has been talisman Asllani, who has turned in a trio of classy performances to help her side top the group. The attacking midfielder has registered a goal and three assists – only Beth Mead has more goal contributions thus far – and she was unplayable during Sweden’s 5-0 thumping of Portugal.

Beth MeadBeth Mead

Mead opened England’s Euro 2022 account at Old Trafford / Visionhaus/GettyImages

RW: Beth Mead (England) – Beth Mead has been in a league of her own this tournament. The Arsenal winger has netted a record breaking five group stage goals, including a hat-trick against Norway which featured a stunning solo run and finish, while her creativity down the flank and intelligent deliveries have also been key, chipping in with three assists.

ST: Alexandra Popp (Germany) – The veteran striker is making her European Championship debut this summer – and has already popped up a goal in each game to leave her joint second in the golden boot standings. Popp has netted a trio of headers at Euro 2022, and led the Germany line masterfully.

LW: Jessica Silva (Portugal) – Underdogs Portugal bowed out at the group stages after a spirited campaign, coming from 2-0 on two occasions in their opening two matches. The tricky Jessica Silva inspired both comebacks, getting on the scoresheet against Switzerland and giving the Netherlands backline the run around.

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