Hegerberg, Miedema, White… the 10 players to follow during the women’s Euro 2022

The Women’s Euro 2022 will begin this Wednesday in England, with an opening match between the Three Lionesses and Austria, at Old Trafford.

This edition, delayed for a year because of the pandemic, should be the toughest in the history of the competition, with the increasing professionalization of the various European championships. A brief overview of the stars who will make this Euro.

Marie Antoinette Katoto (France)

Just extended by PSG until 2025 , the top scorer with 18 goals and D1 Arkema’s best player this season is the great hope of a French team used to being disappointing at major events. She herself had confided in an interview with AFP that this generation could only “do better”. 

At the heart of an internal conflict within PSG , the striker had chosen to support Aminata Diallo during a match for the France team by celebrating her goal by forming an “A” with her fingers, before the midfielder is released without any charges against her in the Hamraoui case . The Frenchwoman knows that if the tricolors win the Euro.

Ada Hegerberg (Norway)

The Norwegian striker from Olympique Lyonnais will make a comeback during this Euro. Seriously injured twice, with a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in the right knee and then a stress fracture in the left tibia, Ada Hegerberg was absent from the field for 20 months in 2020 and 2021 . 

After her reunion with the green square and a new title in the Champions League with OL , the Norwegian also finds the selection, after having boycotted it for five years . The superstar had become frustrated with what she perceived as a lack of support for the women’s team and the development of women’s football in Norway.

Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands)

Serial-scorer of the Netherlands, Viviane Miedema has stacked 92 goals in 108 selections, already accumulating 18 goals in 18 selections from the age of 18. She also made the choice to extend with her club before flying to England and therefore decided to stay for a sixth consecutive season at Arsenal, despite the strong solicitations of certain clubs, including Barça. 

The one who will celebrate her 26th birthday during the Euro is the owner of the mascot of the Dutch selection: a teddy bear named Flip. A kind of lucky charm that she had lost during a trip and that she had sent back to her parents by the hotel having found it. To be seen if that will be enough for the current defending champions, who lost 5-1 in a warm-up match against England.

Pernille Harder (Denmark)

The Danish Chelsea striker has nothing more to prove during this Euro. Twice voted UEFA Women’s Player of the Year, the first foreigner to be voted player of the year in Germany, seven times player of the year in Denmark and top scorer in the history of her country… she has so many individual awards than those not on display at his parents are tucked under his bed in London. 

Pernille Harder is also the Danish national team’s all-time leading scorer – both men and women – with 68 goals. But her finest fights are perhaps those she leads off the field when she obtains equal pay with the selection after having boycotted the last Euro or when she openly exposes her relationship with her companion Magdalena Eriksson, Chelsea team-mate and Swedish international, advocating for LGBT rights in football.

Irene Paredes (Spain)

In the absence of star Alexia Putellas, seriously injured on the eve of the competition and forfeited, Spain will have to rely on its other assets. And La Roja has some, including former PSG player Irene Paredes. Much more than a surname – which she shares with Leandro, a Parisian but Argentinian midfielder who has no family ties with her – she is considered a reference central defender. 

At 31, the Basque, who arrived at Barça last summer where she immediately imposed herself, will take part in her fifth international competition.

Ellen White (England)

At 33, Ellen White will probably live her last Euro with the English selection, so she is the top scorer, with 50 goals in 105 selections. Small peculiarity of the Manchester City striker: every time she scores a goal she celebrates by making “glasses”. A celebration inspired by that of Anthony Modeste , to pay tribute to the Cologne striker. 

Deprived of a football school welcoming little girls, Ellen White grew up playing with boys, in the academy run by her father, before finally being spotted by the Arsenal academy. A big fan of West Ham, she has never been able to play for the London club, having yet played in six different British clubs.

Sara Dabritz (Germany)

The German midfielder from PSG is finally the star of this German selection in spite of herself. Long in the shadow of Alexandra Popp, Wolfsburg striker, she receives the glories of each coach, with the latest Martina Voss-Tecklenburg:

“I wouldn’t want to play against Sara Däbritz right now.” 

She is only 27 years old, but she is one of the rare players of the German team to have won the Euro in 2013. Recently transferred to OL , she has however often proclaimed her love for the capital . French, which she discovers during walks with her boyfriend, one of her ex-adversaries from the time when she played football with the boys, in Bavaria.

Sara Däbritz (GER, 13)

Fridolina Rolfö (Sweden)

The FC Barcelona striker is one of the figures of the Swedish selection, which shines more by its collective. At 28, Fridolina Rolfö won the Champions League once in 2020 when she eliminated FC Barcelona with Wolfsburg, before doing the opposite by having donned the Blaugrana tunic this season. 

Atypical right winger, Rolfö always tries complicated shots, like her first hat-trick in the Champions League for her first match in the competition against Liverpool, when she played with the Swedish club of Linköping at 21 years old. Particularly extravagant, she is as much in her outfits as when she celebrates a goal, regardless of the opponent.

Barbara Bonansea (Italy)

Barbara Bonansea became a national star when on June 9, 2019, she scored twice at the World Cup and provided Italy with a surprise win over Australia. After the match, Rai, the Italian public television, went to interview her parents, who used to follow her in a motorhome to watch her matches. A pioneer of Italian women’s football, she always learned football in Turin at Torino when she was younger, before joining Juventus in 2017.

She was also the first Italian player to have Mino Raiola as an agent . The striker and midfielder is also renowned for her Juninho-style free kicks. But she will have to be wary of the French goalkeeper, whom she faces in hens, sincePauline Peyraud-Magnin, the tricolor door , is also his teammate at Juventus.

Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir (Iceland)

A true star of Iceland, Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir has been chosen twice, in 2018 and 2020, as overall sports personality of the year (male and female) by the Icelandic Sports Journalists Association. She is also the only player from the small Scandinavian island to have scored in a Champions League final, winning it twice with Lyon in 2020 and 2022.

In the Rhône, she has also established herself as a pioneer in her discipline, when she made the choice of motherhood and gave birth in November before returning to the field in March. 

“I want to inspire women, so that they are not frightened by saying that by making a career, it is not possible to start a family, she declared in an interview for L’Equipe .. Me, Amel (Majri, also pregnant), others like Serena Williams, Alex Morgan, more and more women are showing that it is possible.”

Source: RMC Sport

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