Germany's Euro 2022 star Alexandra Popp has committed her future to Wolfsburg, signing a new three-year contract with the Frauen Bundesliga champions.

The Germany striker found the net six times throughout the tournament as Die Nationalelf finished as runners-up to Sarina Wiegman's Lionesses, finishing as joint-top scorer with England's Beth Mead, though Mead won the award after recording more assists.

Popp, who has been with Wolfsburg since 2012, has lifted 18 domestic and three European titles during her career, but missed Germany's 2-1 Wembley final defeat last month after getting injured in the warm-up.

She became the first player to score in five consecutive games at a Women's Euros by helping herself to a brace in Germany's semi-final win over France, later being named in the team of the tournament.

Popp, who had just one year to run on her previous deal, told the club's website: "I'm very pleased to be held in such high esteem and I'm extremely happy at VfL Wolfsburg.

"When I look back on the last few years, it's clear I'm at the best club in Germany. I can also see the outstanding quality in our team. It's great fun for me to perform with these girls on and off the pitch and to fight for more silverware."

Wolfsburg finished four points clear of Bayern Munich to win the domestic title last season, and were beaten by eventual champions Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Women's Champions League.

Germany dominated the team of the tournament for the Women's Euro 2022 despite losing 2-1 to England in Sunday's Wembley final.

Both teams had won every match en route to a highly anticipated decider at England's national stadium in front of a record crowd for a European Championship match, with 87,192 in attendance.

An extra-time winner from Chloe Kelly proved the difference as the Lionesses claimed their first major title, dealing rivals Germany their first defeat in nine Women's Euros finals.

Beth Mead was forced off in the final but had still done enough to be named player of the tournament, also edging the top scorer award on assists ahead of Alexandra Popp – who missed the match following an injury in the warm-up.

Yet there was room for both superstar performers in the official team of the tournament.

Mead was among four England players, with goalkeeper Mary Earps, captain Leah Williamson and midfielder pass master Keira Walsh each also recognised.

Meanwhile, Germany had five players included; along with Popp, defenders Giulia Gwinn and Martina Hegering made the cut, as did young player of the tournament Lena Oberdorf.

Next to Mead and Popp in the front three was Klara Buhl, even though coronavirus kept her out of both the semi-finals and the final.

France were beaten by Germany in the last four and were represented by defender Sakina Karchaoui, while Spain lost to both finalists but still had Aitana Bonmati make the XI.

Women's Euro 2022 team of the tournament:

Mary Earps (England); Giulia Gwinn (Germany), Leah Williamson (England), Martina Hegering (Germany), Sakina Karchaoui (France); Keira Walsh (England), Lena Oberdorf (Germany), Aitana Bonmati (Spain); Beth Mead (England), Alexandra Popp (Germany), Klara Buhl (Germany).

Sarina Wiegman has told England's silky-skilled Lionesses to be on their guard for a physical battle from Germany in the Euro 2022 final.

The England boss has won all 11 of her European Championship matches as a manager, including her run to glory in charge of the Netherlands five years ago.

Arguably the ultimate test awaits on Sunday at Wembley, though, as England tackle eight-time champions Germany.

The fearsome Alexandra Popp leads the Germany attack, having grabbed two brilliant poacher's finishes against France in the semi-final to match Beth Mead's tournament-leading six-goal haul.

Both Popp goals came from crosses, and Wiegman suspects Germany will often look to take a direct route to the heart of England's defence, where Millie Bright and Leah Williamson stand to face their toughest test of the tournament.

"At some point it might be a little physical," Wiegman said in a news conference on Saturday. "Germany can play very direct. That's what we expect."

Hosts England have played some of the most attractive football on their way through to a first European final since 2009, when they were walloped 6-2 by Germany in Helsinki.

Wiegman believes her players can unlock a German defence that has conceded just once so far – an unlucky own goal in the France game.

"We did see some things we might want to exploit," Wiegman said, "but we'll see that tomorrow. This is what we expected to come up against, a team playing their best football, and luckily we're playing ours."

Asked whether she considered Germany to be the strongest team in the tournament, Wiegman said: "I think we have a very good team too and we don't fear anyone."

England have practised penalties, should they come into play, and Wiegman says the camp has been "pretty calm" ahead of the sellout game that is set to see the biggest crowd at any European Championship match, men's or women's.

Wiegman said she understood why the game was being spoken of as "a fairy tale fixture", given the footballing rivalry between the nations, but she is plainly not interested in such narratives.

Captain Williamson was reminded that Sunday would mark 10 years since Great Britain beat Brazil 1-0 at Wembley in an Olympic Games match, with Steph Houghton scoring the only goal that day.

Houghton went on to become England's skipper in 2014, and Williamson inherited the armband ahead of this tournament, marking a major step in her career, one she cannot have envisaged when she was in the crowd as a 15-year-old for that Brazil game.

Williamson said her parents "put women's football in front of my face" by taking her to Wembley for the Olympics match, and she predicted this weekend's final would be an occasion to match it.

England will have the overwhelming majority of supporters, but Germany boss Martina Voss-Tecklenburg is convinced her side can come out on top.

"We don't want to lose it, but in life you lose games and you have to cope with that. If the opponent is better tomorrow then we'll congratulate them fairly, but we're not planning to lose," Voss-Tecklenburg said.

Germany winger Svenja Huth, whose deliveries were converted to deadly effect by Popp in the France game, is aware of the "hype" surrounding the team back home as a potential ninth European title comes into view.

Huth stressed she and Germany would not be distracted by fervent English support.

Speaking at Wembley, Huth added: "The stadium is very impressive even when it is empty. So 90,000 people will be there tomorrow. Most of them will probably be against us and we are aware of that and it can be something good and nice as well."

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?

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."

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 scored in a record fifth Women's European Championship match in a row, with her double firing Germany to a 2-1 win over France in Wednesday's semi-final.

The Wolfsburg striker was on target in each of Germany's four wins en route to final four and opened the scoring in Milton Keynes with a volley after 40 minutes.

France, playing at this stage for a first time compared to a record 10th for Germany, levelled through a Kadidiatou Diani strike that hit the post and went in off Merle Frohms.

Despite Germany being second best for large parts of the second period, Popp struck again in the 76th minute to set up a showdown with hosts England at Wembley on Sunday.

Popp was denied from a curled free-kick by a fine Pauline Peyraud-Magnin stop, but there was to be no denying the in-form Germany striker soon after.

Svenja Huth sent in a cross from the right and Popp got in front of Eve Perisset to thump into the roof of the net – Germany's record 100th goal in the competition.

France's response arrived before half-time, though, as Diani unleashed a shot from long range and the ball bounced off the post, hit the back of a diving Frohms and crossed the line.

Les Bleues twice went close to taking the lead just after the hour mark, with Frohms saving Selma Bacha's powerful shot and Wendie Renard's header from the resulting corner.

Frohms was again required to keep out Diani following a poor back-pass from Marina Hegering as France continued building momentum.

But against the run of play, Popp was left unmarked and powered Huth's cross past Peyraud-Magnin, the match-winning goal allowed to stand after a VAR check for offside.

Wendie Renard is determined to win her battle with Alexandra Popp when two of the great stalwarts of European football tough it out as France face Germany on Wednesday.

The second Euro 2022 semi-final takes place at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes and offers the winner a shot at Sunday's Wembley final.

A crowd of close to 90,000 is expected for the weekend's showpiece match, and France will hope to make it through to that stage for the first time while Germany are eyeing a ninth title.

France centre-back Renard is captain of her side, while striker Popp skippers Germany and has scored in all four of her team's games so far.

Renard and Popp have gone head-to-head many times, with their national teams and at club level with Lyon and Wolfsburg, facing each other in four Women's Champions League finals.

"It's true that she is a great player, with a lot of qualities," Renard said of Popp on Tuesday.

"We know the German mentality in a general way – it is true that we are used to playing against each other in clubs and with our national team.

"There is not only Alex Popp in this team, but it is true that she is a natural leader. She has shown it at club and international level."

Renard remarked on Popp's "difficult" last year, which has seen the 31-year-old striker sidelined for long stretches with a knee injury that recurred.

It has been to the striker's credit that she has been able to make such an impact already at this tournament, but now 32-year-old Renard is plotting how she might keep Popp in her pocket for 90 minutes.

"Since the beginning of this tournament, she is answering for her country, and it will be up to us collectively to be strong to simply prevent her from continuing her good run," Renard said.

Germany suffered a blow on the eve of the game when forward Klara Buhl was ruled out after a positive COVID-19 test.

Buhl had created the most chances of all players at Euro 2022 heading into the semi-final stage by forging 14 opportunities for others. That total put her one ahead of France's Clara Mateo.

France must defy the weight of history as they attempt to sink Germany in the second semi-final at the Women's European Championship.

Corinne Diacre's French team have already made a colossal impact on the tournament in England, starting from when they smashed five goals past Italy in the first half of their opening group game.

That felt like a statement 45 minutes, a message to their rivals that this France team are different to those who have come before. Although France have not quite hit those swashbuckling heights since, they are through to their first Women's Euros semi-final, after falling in the quarters in each of the last three editions.

Coach Diacre made some tough choices for this tournament, omitting star forward Eugenie Le Sommer and Champions League player of the match Amandine Henry, and Les Bleues suffered a crushing blow when star striker Marie-Antoinette Katoto suffered an ACL injury during the group stages.

It became imperative that those players Diacre has trusted to perform delivered for the coach, and a 1-0 quarter-final win over the Netherlands, secured by Eve Perisset's extra-time penalty, took France further than they have ever gone before.

However, and here comes the kicker, each of the last four first-time semi-finalists fell at this hurdle: Spain (1997), Finland (2005), Netherlands (2009) and Austria (2017).

To boot, Germany have progressed from eight of their nine previous European Championship semi-finals, with the lone defeat coming in 1993 against Italy.

France will be up against it in Milton Keynes, with their opponents yet to concede a goal in these finals.

Germany might not be at their absolute pomp, but their next goal will be Die Nationalelf's 100th in European Championship football. No team has yet reached that landmark.

Germany look to turn back time

Germany's players do not need to look far to be served a reminder of their rich heritage in this tournament. Coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg was a four-time European champion in her playing days, helping the national team to titles in 1989, 1991, 1995 and 1997.

A run of six consecutive European titles was ended with a shock quarter-final exit to Denmark five years ago, and Voss-Tecklenburg was hired in November 2018 to lead the team forward.

She played 125 games for her country, scoring 27 goals, and was twice Germany's footballer of the year.

Germany cannot rely on past glories once the whistle sounds on Wednesday, even if France will be aware of their opponents' illustrious history.

This is the third Women's Euros clash between Germany and France, and the previous two resoundingly went Germany's way: 3-0 in 2005 and 5-1 in 2009, both in the group stage.

There are players in Germany's 2022 squad looking to live up to the feats of stars gone by, and captain Alexandra Popp can become the first ever player to score in five consecutive appearances at the Women's Euros when she lines up against France. Her four goals so far put her outright second in the race for the Golden Boot ahead of the semi-finals getting under way, one behind England's Beth Mead.

Collectively, Germany have been solid and have yet to concede a goal after four games. Only Germany themselves have kept five or more consecutive clean sheets in the history of this tournament (seven in a row between 2001 and 2005).

French fancy a final flourish

The Wembley final beckons on Sunday, and France would dearly love to be involved in that showpiece. They have won two of their last three internationals against Germany (L1), most recently a 1-0 victory in a friendly in June 2021.

Germany won on penalties when these sides met in the 2015 World Cup quarter-finals, their last major tournament clash, but sufficient time has passed for that to have little bearing.

Diacre is expected to be rewarded with a new contract after this tournament, with French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet saying at the weekend it was important to put that on the backburner for now.

Le Graet said, quoted in L'Equipe: "The competition is not over. Decisions are made when it's all over. It is logical that we will discuss it again soon. I am very happy with Corinne and the progress that has been made. The players and Corinne are very motivated and good together."

If anything has been holding back France, it has been their finishing, which might be a surprise given how deadly they were in that opening 45 minutes against Italy.

Overall, they have had 94 goal attempts but scored just nine times, with their 9.6 per cent shot conversion rate the lowest of the four semi-finalists prior to the last-four games getting under way.

Curiously, France have scored eight of those nine goals in the first half of games, and the other came in the first half of extra time as they knocked out the Dutch, who were the reigning champions.

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