Martina Voss-Tecklenburg declared England "dream" opponents for Germany in Sunday's Women's Euro 2022 final – and she believes all the pressure is on the Lionesses.

An eye-catching Wembley showpiece will pit hosts England against eight-time European champions Germany.

These have been the two standout sides throughout the tournament, and there is plenty of history behind this fixture.

When England last reached the Women's Euros final in 2009, they were beaten by Germany – one of 21 defeats in the teams' 27 meetings.

But Germany coach Voss-Tecklenburg was looking beyond the confines of the women's game as she considered what this match means, with the men's rivalry reaching back to England's 1966 World Cup final success. That remains the sole major title for either the men's or women's England teams.

"It electrifies football fans," said Voss-Tecklenburg at her pre-match news conference on Saturday. "It has such a traditional history.

"For me, there is just one football; I don't differentiate between men and women.

"Both teams are deservedly in the final, and that's why everyone is looking forward to it. There will be millions of spectators in the whole of Europe.

"If we were allowed to dream, we would have chosen to play against England in this final and not against anybody else.

"I was born in 1967, so I can only remember what I saw on TV, but everyone knows the history between Germany and England and Wembley goals and penalties. But that's all the past."

Plenty of that history has been marked by penalty shoot-outs, with Germany's men beating England on spot-kicks at the 1990 World Cup and Euro 96 – at Wembley.

There would be no shortage of nerves among home supporters if Sunday's game went the same distance, although Voss-Tecklenburg suggests that is a scenario in which Germany would share the pressure.

"The pressure is on England tomorrow, I believe," she said. "It's more on them than it is on us, and in case we have penalties, then we have to find the courage.

"You need a bit of luck sometimes, but there is pressure on every player in that situation.

"It can happen that there is a special moment. We want to avoid that, but if it happens we will be ready."

Team glory is the primary concern, even if there is also a battle between Germany's Alexandra Popp and England's Beth Mead for the Golden Boot.

They each have six goals – already the most of any player at a single Women's Euros – while Mead has four assists.

Voss-Tecklenburg, who will again be without Klara Buhl due to COVID-19, said of Popp: "She's an absolute team player.

"Whoever saw the game against France saw someone who scored two goals, but my favourite scene was in the 85th minute where she ran back 60 metres to block a ball at the back.

"This shows how important she is, the same as every other player, and that is the strength of our team."

It is a major tournament held in England where the hosts are looking to end a long wait without silverware, but Germany stand in their way.

This feels awfully familiar.

Sarina Wiegman's Lionesses have captured the hearts of a nation, with fans flocking to watch them reach their first major tournament final since 2009 where they lost to *checks notes* Germany.

Meanwhile, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg's side have advanced to the final comparatively under the radar, with Die Nationalelf picking up impressive scalps of their own along the way.

It promises to be a fascinating contest at Wembley Stadium in front of what is expected to be a record crowd for any European Championship game - men's or women's - on Sunday.

A huge 90 minutes, maybe more, awaits the two teams, but where will it be won and lost? Stats Perform takes a look at the finer details ahead of the Euro 2022 final.

Raise a glass to Mead and Popp and drink it in

While teams win tournaments, we always look to those individuals who we will remember in years to come for their performances.

Undoubtedly two of the standout players in England during the last three weeks have been Beth Mead and Alexandra Popp, current joint-top scorers with six goals each.

The Lionesses have not found it difficult to score goals, finding the net 20 times in five games in the tournament so far. In fact, only Germany in 2009 have ever scored more at a Women's Euros (21).

Mead's goal in the opening 1-0 win against Austria at Old Trafford was vital for getting their campaign rolling, before she grabbed a hat-trick in the 8-0 thrashing of Norway, another in the 5-0 win against Northern Ireland, and the opener in the 4-0 semi-final humbling of Sweden.

While Germany have not been quite as proficient – still scoring a respectable 13 goals – Popp's contributions had initially come when adding to leads, with the captain's goals against Denmark, Spain, Finland and Austria all arriving when her team were already ahead.

However, she came into her own in the last-four clash with France, scoring both goals in the 2-1 win, including a dominant header to win it with 14 minutes remaining.

Having scored in all five of Germany's games so far, a goal at Wembley would see Popp become just the second player to score in every match from the group stages to the final at a single edition of a European Championship (men's and women's), after Michel Platini for France in 1984.

Whichever one raises their game for the final could ultimately provide the deciding factor. In the case of Popp, it could well be that she has to score herself to make a difference, as she has not yet recorded an assist in the tournament, whereas Mead has four assists to her name, more than anyone else.

The strongest spine could be the key

They say a good attack wins games while a good defence wins trophies. So far, both of these teams have been effective at each end of the pitch.

England's only goal conceded in five games came when they went 1-0 down to Spain in the quarter-finals, before coming back to win 2-1 in extra time, while Germany's one against was an own goal in their semi-final against France.

An opposition player is yet to find a way past Germany, and it is not hard to see why. Kathrin-Julia Hendrich and Marina Hegering have been a steely combination at the back for Voss-Tecklenburg's team, with Hegering making 41 ball recoveries in her five games, the joint seventh most among outfield players in the tournament.

Germany youngster Lena Oberdorf has had an outstanding tournament in midfield and has 44 ball recoveries to her name.

That is the same number as England captain Leah Williamson, a player who leads by example at centre-back alongside Millie Bright, who has managed a team-high 21 clearances.

Both centre-back pairings have had plenty of help in front of them, with 20-year-old Oberdorf attempting more tackles (19) than any other player from the two finalists, while England's Keira Walsh has recovered the ball 36 times and has the best passing accuracy of any player to have attempted at least 250 passes (89.56 per cent).

Midfield could be a key area for England, who as a team have attempted 2,597 passes overall with an accuracy of 83.4 per cent, both ranked second across the tournament, while Germany have attempted 2,222 passes (ranked fourth) with an accuracy of 77 per cent (ranked seventh).

England's Germany hoodoo

It is not exclusive to the women's game, but England have an unflattering record against Germany, especially in major tournaments.

The Lionesses have won just two of their 27 meetings with Germany in all competitions, and have lost more often against them than any other opponent (D4 L21), though they did win their last meeting 3-1 in February.

Germany have won all four of their matches against England at Women's Euros by an aggregate score of 15-4. This will be the first meeting between the sides at the tournament since the 2009 final, which Germany won 6-2.

That was the last time England reached a Women's Euros final, having also lost to Sweden in 1984, while this will be Germany's ninth appearance in a final, meaning they have appeared in 69 per cent of Women's Euros title matches. They have triumphed on all eight of their previous appearances in finals so far.

You could therefore be forgiven for thinking that too much history is on the Germans' side for England to stand a chance, but the tournament hosts have a not-so-secret weapon.

Wiegman will be the first manager to have led two different nations in Women's Euros finals, having won the 2017 tournament with the Netherlands, and her overall record in the competition shows 11 wins from 11 games, with her teams having scored 33 goals and conceded just four.

Whatever happens on Sunday, it is sure to be quite a spectacle. Will football finally come "home", or will Germany repeat history and add to their own outstanding legacy?

Pep Guardiola hailed the stylistic brilliance of women's football as England prepare to face Germany in the Euro 2022 final.

The Manchester City boss is recognised as a coach who encourages technical excellence, having been brought up through the Barcelona system and taken the teachings with him.

As head coach of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and latterly City, Guardiola has nurtured teams through innovation, looking for his players to produce a possession-based game.

There has been fluidity and intensity at the core of his teams, and the end result has been the emergence of some of football's most entertaining, highly skilled teams of the modern era.

He recognises excellence when he sees it, and Guardiola believes it is coursing through the women's game at present.

Sunday's final is set to be played in front of a full house at Wembley, with the tournament having already smashed previous European Championship attendance records.

"Well I think they deserve all the credit, women footballers around the world, how they rise, how they are doing incredibly good, so they deserve what they are getting," Guardiola said.

"Before, years ago, there was maybe not the media, maybe it was not being followed like it is, and it has happened because they are doing incredible things in the style, the way they play."

Given his previous Bayern allegiance, Guardiola is reluctant to pick a winner, even though a number of England's squad play for City's women's team, including Ellen White, Lauren Hemp and Keira Walsh.

Germany have won the Women's Euros eight times previously, while England have yet to be champions.

"Before, I was working in Germany, I want the best for both [teams]," said Guardiola, whose City team will face Liverpool in the Community Shield in Leicester on Saturday.

"Of course, we want a good final. England can play a good game, and it's a big success for both national teams to get to the final. Of course both will want to win it, at an incredible scenario at Wembley.

"I think the crowd will be completely full and hopefully they can enjoy a good game and the best team wins. Congratulations. It's so nice for England – arriving at the final is a big achievement."

England captain Leah Williamson and fellow centre-back Millie Bright face the most demanding test of their careers when they face Germany's Alexandra Popp in Sunday's Euro 2022 final.

That is the view of former Lionesses skipper Faye White, who says England should "see themselves as equals" with the eight-time European champions but is wary of the threat posed by Germany's goal-hungry captain.

"I don't worry as much as I would have certainly a few years ago or in the past," White told Stats Perform.

White captained England in the Euro 2009 final, where hopes of a first European title were dashed as Germany dished out a 6-2 victory hammering in Helsinki.

Prolific striker Birgit Prinz scored twice that day for Germany, and White said Popp presents "exactly the same" threat, with the Wolfsburg star having joined England's Beth Mead on six goals in the battle for the Golden Boot.

Popp's double against France led Germany to a 2-1 semi-final victory, teeing up the shot at hosts England, whose 4-0 demolition of Sweden underlined their threat.

White said what impressed her most about Popp, who is coming off a long knee injury lay-off, was "that clinicalness... that desire we could see with both her goals".

The first was a volley on the stretch, and the second a bullet header after finding a yard of space that left White "speechless".

"That is what she has and that's why I think it's a massive game for our two centre-halves," White said.

White's view is that when it comes to powerful strikers, Germany "just breed them", with 31-year-old Popp the latest in a long line.

If England are to set aside a record of two wins from 27 past meetings with Germany, then keeping Popp quiet will surely be essential.

"Millie and Leah have to win the battle basically. And it's the biggest game of their lives. Trust me," White said.

England have had many special moments in the tournament, with an 8-0 thrashing of Norway in the group stage, the extra-time victory over Spain in the quarter-finals and Tuesday's demolition job on Sweden capturing the imagination.

Germany have perhaps had fewer similarly exhilarating results, but they have been impressively solid, leading White to state that "everyone just has to have a big game" if England are to lift the trophy at Wembley.

She says England are "in a mindset where they will relish it rather than be squashed by that", adding: "We are in the best place we will ever be to be able to do it and beat them. I just keep thinking, please make this time be the time we get one over on Germany."

England have been semi-finalists at the past two World Cups and also reached that stage at Euro 2017, which is why White considers this generation so different to her own.

"In my time when we played in 2009, it was a completely different gulf between the two teams that matched up in that final," she said. "The mindset of these current players is that they won't fear the Germans like we did. We know the history, but it's not history of recent times as the Germans haven't got to the latter stages of tournaments as England have recently."

The goals of the likes of Mead and Alessia Russo have been crucial, but it has been Sarina Wiegman's influence as England's manager that has most impressed White.

Wiegman, who led the Netherlands to European glory five years ago, only joined up with England in 2021 but has made a tremendous impact.

White said Wiegman has been "the key", adding: "I've always felt that the last bit of the puzzle was the manager who's won something.

"Because when you're in the changing room, and you're going through all the tactics, knowing that that coach has won something, I just think that's invaluable."

More than twice as many fans have attended this year's record-breaking Women's European Championship than the previous tournament in 2017.

Following Wednesday's second semi-final between Germany and France in Milton Keynes, a total of 487,683 people have attended matches at Euro 2022, up from the previous record of 240,055 during Euro 2017 in the Netherlands.

Stadiums in England have been bustling with fans eager to watch the stars of the women's game on the big stage and several attendance records have been smashed.

Sunday's final between hosts England and Germany is anticipated see another record broken for a match at a men's or women's Euros, with Wembley's capacity for the showpiece at over 87,000.

The current highest attendance of 79,115 was for the men's final in 1964 between hosts Spain and the Soviet Union at the Santiago Bernabeu.

This year's tournament has already seen a record set for the highest attendance for a Women's Euros match, with 68,871 watching England beat Austria 1-0 in the group stage at Old Trafford.

UEFA stated on Thursday: "Nearly 100,000 children have been part of that record-breaking attendance, while 47 per cent of all fans in the stadiums have been female, with a similar fan demographic anticipated for the final.

"The tournament has been marked by crowds enjoying this family-friendly atmosphere, and the same buzz and excitement can be expected for the final between England and Germany on Sunday, which is set to establish another major benchmark."

Jurgen Klopp believes Euro 2022 hosts England are favourites to triumph against his native Germany in the final, but feels women's football is the winner whatever the result.

The Lionesses will compete in their first major tournament final since 2009 after three consecutive semi-final exits over the past decade, where they will face the competition's most historically successful nation.

Yet buoyed by home advantage and a string of utterly remarkable results – including a 4-0 demolition of top-ranked side Sweden in the last four – Sarina Wiegman's side likely enter Sunday's final at Wembley Stadium at shorter odds.

Liverpool boss Klopp will see his Reds side play their FA Community Shield clash with Manchester City at Leicester's King Power Stadium on Saturday in order to facilitate the showpiece clash in north London the following day.

The German feels both his adopted home and his birth nation would be worthy winners, but that it is likely England who just shade the pair, while adding the tournament's success is great for the women's game.

"I really have to say I love women's football," Klopp stated. "It's outstanding. The quality of the tournament is insane. England are doing exceptionally well, and Germany, they've [done] really well [too].

"I think it's a really good final, [with] two intense teams facing each other. You can imagine that as much I love England, in this specific case my heart is on the German side,

"[A] sold-out at Wembley with the English crowd, it'll be a massive challenge for Germany. But I think the most important thing is the fact that women's football has shown it's a fantastic game.

"We all knew that before. Women's football over the last few years [has] exploded. It's tactically [and] technically at an incredibly high level. The intensity of the game - I love watching it. I really love watching it

"I think England are a slight favourite because of playing at home, but Germany has a chance as well and that's enough."

Alexandra Popp said it would be "the icing on the cake" if she wins the Golden Boot and Germany lift the trophy in Sunday's Euro 2022 final against England.

Popp appears to be in a straight shoot-out with England's Beth Mead for the top goalscorer prize, with both players having netted six goals from five games.

Having returned from a long knee injury lay-off to make her mark, the 31-year-old Germany captain instinctively ranks winning the tournament far above the prospect of an individual accolade.

She converted two crosses from Svenja Huth, one with a smart volley and the other with a powerful header, as Germany beat France 2-1 in Wednesday's semi-final.

Mead was among the scorers as England crushed Sweden 4-0 on Tuesday to become the first team into the Wembley showpiece match.

Popp spoke after Germany's win of why it was not all about her.

"I have to disappoint you. I have to put the team in the foreground again, because if I don't get balls like that into the box, I can't score the goals. And that's where I benefit immensely from the girls," Popp said.

"Of course it makes me very happy and very proud that I get these balls and that I have the opportunity to score and that I have managed, together with the coaching team, with the team, to get back to being a goal-scoring threat like I used to be, when I didn't play for a long time.

"That makes me very, very proud. And it's not my first goal to say that I absolutely want to be the top scorer. The first goal is clearly to win the European Championship.

"If the icing on the cake is then added and I have the opportunity, then of course it would be nice. But if that doesn't happen and three other goals are scored by us and we end up as European champions, then I'll be happy too."

Popp's first-half opener made her the first player in the history of the Women's Euros to score in five successive games, having also netted in each of Germany's four previous victories.

That was Germany's 100th goal in the history of the tournament, making them the first side to reach a century of goals.

Germany have now reached the final of the Women's Euros in nine of their 11 appearances in the tournament, only failing to do so in 1993 and 2017.

Head coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg said she felt "pure pride" at the achievement, saying the semi-final game had been "super exhausting".

It opens up the possibility of another Wembley triumph for Germany.

The men's team were crowned European champions at England's national stadium in 1996, when Oliver Bierhoff was the two-goal hero in a 2-1 win over the Czech Republic.

Former striker Bierhoff is now managing director of Germany's national teams and saluted the achievements of the women's team.

"We are overjoyed, also because of the way the team performs here," Bierhoff said. "You can feel the conviction and the fun of achieving something. You can also feel that they now want to take this final step."

Alexandra Popp says "there is nothing better" than playing a final at Wembley after firing Germany into Sunday's Women's Euros showpiece with her double against France.

The Wolfsburg striker opened the scoring in the 40th minute and then headed in the eventual winner in the second half after Merle Frohms' unfortunate own goal had levelled things up.

Popp's first-half strike made her the first player in the competition's history to score in five successive games, having also netted in each of Germany's four previous victories.

That was also Germany's 100th goal at the Women's Euros, making them the first side to reach a century of goals in the competition.

Popp is now level with England's Beth Mead on six goals for this year's tournament, with the pair set to face off in this weekend's final.

Tournament hosts England will be heavily backed in London, but Popp is relishing the chance to help Germany to a record-extending ninth Euros crown.

"I can't put this victory into words," she told ZDF following her brace against holders Netherlands' conquerors France. "We really threw everything in and are so incredibly happy. 

"The team is great. No one was counting on us and now we're in the final against England at Wembley. That was our dream, our wish, which we have fulfilled. 

"A final at Wembley... there is nothing better."


The goal scored by France was the first Germany had conceded at Euro 2022 and came in bizarre circumstances in Milton Keynes.

Kadidiatou Diani unleashed a long-range shot and the ball bounced off the post, hit the back of a diving Frohms and crossed the line.

It did not matter in the end, however, thanks to prolific Popp bailing out her team-mate with her header 14 minutes from time.

"The goal I conceded doesn't really matter to me," Frohms said. "It's bitter at the moment, but I had no choice but to try to make the save. But we didn't let that upset us.

"As soon as the final whistle blew, the tears of joy came. Before the tournament, we didn't imagine that we would make it to the final."

Germany have now reached the final of the Women's Euros in nine of their 11 appearances in the tournament, only failing to do so in 1993 and 2017.

England star Lucy Bronze has revealed she is playing through pain caused by a knee injury in order to help the Lionesses' bid a first major tournament victory, having netted in a 4-0 semi-final rout of Sweden.

Bronze's header put England two goals up against the Swedes at Bramall Lane, after which Alessia Russo's incredible backheel and Fran Kirby's long-range strike helped the hosts record the biggest ever victory in a Women's Euro semi-final.

Tournament hosts England, beaten European Championship finalists in both 1984 and 2009, will now take part in the showpiece final at Wembley on Sunday.

And Bronze, who scooped FIFA's The Best Women's Player award in 2020, is blocking out the pain in an attempt to help her country to glory, as she played down her last-four goalscoring feat.

"I've just got to play through it," Bronze said. "There are plenty of players who are having to play through pain in their career and I'm now one of them.

"I don't feel like I did a couple of years ago. The Lucy Bronze of a couple of years ago was 'the best player in the world'. 

"It's been difficult to come back from a knee injury which has lingered for a very long time and still is now."

Bronze added: "The goals and assists are not something I consider a major part of my game. I'd much rather the likes of Beth and Ellen [White] and Hempo [Lauren Hemp] get on the scoresheet. I enjoyed it, though. I'd not scored in a Euros.

"I'm still happy to be contributing to the team, still playing good football, obviously getting an assist for Beth [Mead] and getting her up there to get the Golden Boot. It would be nice to be part of her little individual journey."

England ended a run of three successive major semi-final defeats with their resounding win in Sheffield, having fallen in the final four at the 2017 Euros and the 2015 and 2019 World Cups.

And Bronze believes those painful experiences made Tuesday's win even sweeter, adding: "For players like myself and Ellen and Fran, who've experienced a lot of semi-final defeats, it's nice to get over those defeats, get over the line and finally get ourselves in the final. But it’s certainly not job done."

Meanwhile, England boss Sarina Wiegman has come in for praise after leading the side through an unprecedented 11-match winning streak, the Lionesses scoring 104 goals in her 19 games at the helm.

Bronze believes Wiegman's ability to keep the squad grounded has been a major factor in their terrific run on home soil, adding: "It's just practical information she's giving. I think that being Dutch, she's to the point. She tries not to get carried away. 

"It's quite funny that pretty much everyone in the whole of Holland said they've never seen Sarina Wiegman jump around like she did after the Spain game!

"I think she said herself that the Spanish performance was one of the best she'd ever seen – to come through that was amazing not just for the team but for her as a manager and coach.

"In a home Euros there's a lot of emotion and a lot of support. We don't want to get carried away too much and she's one of those people that is very process-driven. 

"She's very excited, but once the game's done we're on to the next game. We don't get carried away with our emotions but on and off the field we still enjoy the game and still enjoy the moment at the right time."

England have been tipped to cap their stunning Euro 2022 campaign with a final victory at Wembley by Jamie Carragher, who declared: "I think it's finally coming home".

Sarina Wiegman's magnificent Lionesses cruised to a 4-0 semi-final win over Sweden – the tournament's top-ranked team – at Bramall Lane on Tuesday, reaching their first Women's Euros final since 2009.

That victory represented the largest ever recorded in the last four of a Women's Euros, while England have now scored a remarkable 104 goals in 19 outings under Wiegman.

England will have to defeat either Germany or France – who meet in Milton Keynes on Wednesday – to end 56 years of major tournament hurt on Sunday, with the Lionesses having lost European finals in both 1984 and 2009.

As the side prepare for a trip to Wembley, the ground on which Gareth Southgate's Three Lions suffered Euro 2020 final heartache last year against Italy, former England international Carragher expressed his confidence they would go on to lift the trophy.

Asked by Sky Sports whether he believed the Lionesses were set for glory, Carragher said: "Finally, it's coming home, yes, after so long. 

"We've built it up so often in major tournaments, we've come pretty close, [such as] with Gareth and the boys a year or so ago.

"I think it's finally coming home, we'll be able to sing that song hopefully on Sunday night with a trophy in our arms."

Wiegman, a Euro 2017 champion with the Netherlands, became the first coach to guide two different nations to a Women's European Championship final with the victory over Sweden, and Carragher recognised her nous as a key reason for the Lionesses' success.

"We've got a top coach who belongs at this level and has done this before, so that will give great confidence to the squad going into the game," the former defender continued.

"Obviously we've got home advantage as well, sometimes that can go for you or go against you, as long as the pressure doesn't become too big.

"But I think how the England team have coped with home advantage – they've maximised it in this tournament. 

"The fact we've got a serial winner in the coach on the sidelines should give us huge confidence."

Sweden's Magdalena Eriksson has bemoaned her side's early missed chances after they were thumped 4-0 by England in their women's Euros semi-final.

Sofia Jakobsson could have put the Swedes ahead after just 30 seconds, while Stina Blackstenius also hit the bar early on.

And they then fell behind after 34 minutes when Beth Mead smashed home from inside the box, before second-half goals from Lucy Bronze, Alessia Russo and Fran Kirby finished things off.

It means that it will be England who will play either Germany or France at Wembley Stadium on Sunday as they bid to win their first European Championship, after losing in the final in 1984 and 2009.

Chelsea defender Magdalena Eriksson was frustrated after the game, telling reporters: "I'm very disappointed of course, there's a lot of emotions at the moment.

"An extreme disappointment, it's a tough one to take because we started the game extremely well. We could have been one or two nil up after 20 minutes.

"When you don't score, you don't take your chances, when you don't score when you have momentum, it's tough.

"The timings of their first two goals are really crucial. It just became too much of a challenge when it was 2-0."

Sarina Wiegman is determined for England to make their dreams come true after they reached the final of the Women's Euros with a 4-0 win over Sweden on Tuesday. 

The Lionesses put a run of three straight semi-final defeats at major tournaments behind them to reach a showpiece match for the first time since 2009. 

England are now unbeaten in 19 matches since Wiegman took charge and head into Sunday's final against Germany or France on an 11-game winning streak. 

Stina Blackstenius hit the bar early on for Sweden but Beth Mead put England in front in the 34th minute and Lucy Bronze doubled their lead shortly after the restart. 

Alessia Russo's brilliant backheel put the Lionesses out of reach and Fran Kirby capped a magnificent team display by chipping Hedvig Lindahl in the 76th minute. 

"The second half we did really well. I thought in the first half we struggled a little bit. The second half we had total control of the game and got some more space," Wiegman, who became the first coach to lead two different nations to a Women's Euros final, told the BBC. 

"We'll celebrate now a little bit. But as I said before the tournament, we have a dream. We've come very far, but now we want to take it away. 

"In the second half we played so much better. I think it was such a good performance that everyone will talk about it. 

"I think we have shown a couple of times that we're very resilient. I thought we didn't start well so we had a hard time. But the players found a way in the game to get out of their pressure, and I'm so, so incredibly proud of them." 

Mead's goal was her sixth of the competition – the most an England player has managed in a single edition of the Euros – and moved her one shy of the record tally set by Inka Grings in the 2009 tournament. 

The Arsenal forward also set up Bronze and Kirby, taking her total goal involvements at Euro 2022 to 10. 

"At the full-time whistle we didn't really know what to do! We’re ecstatic to be in the final," said Mead. 

"I enjoyed my goal – I think it came at a good time, as they’d had chances and there was pressure on us. I'm happy to help the team again." 

Alessia Russo's stunning backheel goal helped England to a brilliant 4-0 win over Sweden at Euro 2022, ending their wait for a semi-final success. 

The Lionesses weathered a strong start from Sweden that saw Stina Blackstenius rattle the crossbar and they took the lead when Beth Mead drilled home in the 34th minute. 

Lucy Bronze doubled England's lead three minutes after the restart and a moment of magic from substitute Russo put England out of reach in the 68th minute.

Fran Kirby audaciously chipped Hedvig Lindahl with 14 minutes remaining, as England ended a run of three straight semi-final defeats at major tournaments and booked their place in Sunday's showpiece at Wembley.

England needed Mary Earps to keep Sofia Jakobsson at bay after just 20 seconds, with Sweden's bright start seeing Blackstenius hit the bar with a header from a corner in the ninth minute. 

The game soon settled down but England controlled possession and they were rewarded when Mead controlled Bronze's cross expertly and fired a fine finish beyond Lindahl. 

Bronze placed a header from Mead's delivery into the bottom-left corner as the Lionesses made a phenomenal start to the second half, with the bar stopping Lauren Hemp from making it three before the hour mark. 

Earps did brilliantly to keep Blackstenius at bay as Sweden looked for a way back into the game but Russo backheeled a shot through Lindahl's legs to sap Sweden's resolve.

Kirby completed the scoring when she spotted former Chelsea team-mate Lindahl off her line to round off a resounding win for the Lionesses at Bramall Lane.

David Beckham has wished Sarina Wiegman's "inspiring" England team good luck ahead of their Women's European Championship semi-final clash with Sweden on Tuesday, as the Lionesses look to end a run of major semi-final defeats.

Wiegman's side have produced several scintillating performances as tournament hosts, scoring a remarkable 14 goals as they cruised through a group containing Austria, Norway and Northern Ireland, before coming from behind to clinch a 2-1 quarter-final win over Spain.

Georgia Stanway's extra-time stunner against La Roja was the 100th goal England have scored in just 18 matches under Wiegman, while their current 10-game winning run is their best ever such streak.

However, England are likely to face a tough test when they meet Sweden in their Bramall Lane semi-final, having fallen at this stage in three consecutive major tournaments (the 2017 Euros and World Cups in 2015 and 2019).

Ahead of that vital contest, the Lionesses have been wished well by England legend Beckham, who thanked the team for inspiring his own daughter through their performances.

"I just wanted to send you a message, firstly, to say congratulations on an incredible tournament so far," Beckham said in a video posted to the team's Twitter account.

"It's been so uplifting, it's been so exciting, and it's been so inspiring. For me personally, I have a daughter, and for her to be inspired by you girls and your performances has been incredible.

"But it's not just the girls being inspired, the boys are getting inspired as well by this, we all know that when big tournaments come around, our country and our fans get behind us like no other.

"It's been incredible to see the performances but for me personally, the game against Spain was what really brought the nation together.

"To win a game like that, in that manner, has really uplifted the whole country.

"Good luck for the semi-final, we're all behind you, we're all excited to see it and I know there's one person that is really excited to see it; my daughter Harper. Thank you for inspiring her and good luck girls."

Should England extend their fine run with victory in Sheffield, a Wembley final against either Germany or France – and a shot at a first major tournament success in the women's game – will await on Sunday.

England must focus on the present if they are to end their semi-final hoodoo when they take on Sweden in the last four of the Women's Euros, says Sarina Wiegman. 

The Lionesses will contest their fourth straight semi-final at a major tournament at Bramall Lane on Tuesday, having reached the stage in successive World Cups either side of the 2017 European Championship. 

England have featured in five previous Euros semi-finals and only progressed from two of them, in 1984 and 2009. 

Wiegman, who is yet to taste defeat in 18 matches in charge of England, wants the team to forget their previous defeats as they look to close in on a first major trophy. 

"I think it is necessary to be in the now and I do think you always have to learn from your experiences and take out the things you can take out to be better, become better or to learn," said Wiegman in a pre-match news conference.

"But it's no use now to talk about that all the time because it's now. It is now. So why should we talk about that all the time? 

"We first have to play a semi-final and that's the only thing that counts. Again, we're in the now. All the focus is on our game against Sweden – that's the only thing we talk about. 

"How do we want to play? How do we collaborate as a team? How do we try to exploit their weaknesses, take out their strengths and use our own strengths? That's the only thing we're talking about. 

"I think reaching the semi-final has been really great already and we saw that we brought a lot of inspiration. 

"But I think our fans gave us a lot of inspiration too. We are only focused on tomorrow and that's what it is, and we hope we get the result we want. 

"The England team is ready to play the best game against Sweden, and hopefully we can inspire the nation." 

Millie Bright scored an own goal in the Euro 2017 semi-final loss to the Netherlands and was sent off as England fell to the United States in the last four of the 2019 World Cup. 

She said: "We are on a new journey. It's a new path for us as a group. Like I said, [we've got] different players in, so for us it's kind of a fresh slate almost and again we focus on the here and the now. 

"The position we are in as a squad going into this game is that we are in a very good position and we are ready to fight. Everyone is feeling great." 

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