Famous group of death of this women’s Euro, group B is the only group where all the selections can boast of having a 100% professional workforce. If Germany does not really know where it is going in this Euro, its certainties should be constantly questioned by the new contenders that are Spain and Denmark. Unless Finland really plays its role of outsider?
By Anna Carreau
The guide to Euro 2022: discovering Group B
Ranked 7e in the latest FIFA rankings, the Spanish team has never done so well. Taking advantage of recent advances in women’s football as a whole in the country, Jorge Vilda’s side build on Barca’s successes and find among the Blaugrana many incumbents: Mapi Leon, Irene Paredes, Jenni Hermoso, Patri Guijarro, Aitana Bonmatí, Sandra Paños and Alexia Putellas. As with boys in the 2000s, girls also benefit from the automatisms found in clubs to develop the traditional cracked Iberian and thread the goals at high speed. In qualifying, the Roja plants 48 pawns for only one cashed. If the coach prefers to speak of a status of candidate for the title rather than favorite, he and the Fed leave nothing to chance: all the players of the last Euros disputed by Spain (1997, 2013, 2017) were gathered to give their advice before those of 2022 fly to England. Then, even if he misses the serial scorer Jenni Hermoso, injured, and that pool B is the famous “chicken of death” that no one wants, being able to count on the Golden Ball Alexia Putellas in its ranks is already an excellent reason to believe in the coronation of the Spanish.
The future surprise: Denmark
Vice-champions of the last Euro, the Danes had deprived themselves of the last 2019 World Cup, preferring to win rights instead of winning titles, losing their play-off against the Netherlands after boycotting the meeting against Sweden. Never mind, if the Red White lost big that night, they will have prevailed with a good boost from the boys, allowing Denmark to become the first country to equalize the salaries of residents of the men’s and women’s teams. A hard-won battle relaunching an entire group that proved ruthless during the Euro qualifying matches (48 goals scored, 1 conceded). A rebirth that local star Pernille Harder explains simply: Lars Sondergaard (the coach) gave us a distinctive and attractive way of playing, and playing good football is important to us. » Considered on and off the field, the Danes present themselves with a group that has everything from the perfect outsider. “This team has a great mix of experience and is yet to peaknotify the coach. There are a lot of players who are only going to get better. » Especially since the Danes have already managed to shake the Germans during the last Euro. Shall we meet after the three group matches?
Player to watch: Natalia Kuikka
If it would have been easy to choose Alexia Putellas or Sara Däbritz, another midfielder will also give a hard time. Already voted best player of the year three times in Finland at just 26 years old, Natalia Kuikka is one of those players who are not known in Europe, but who was named player of the tournament when her Portland club beat OL in final in August 2021. Nine years after her first Euro, where she had a blast on the left wing of Finland at just 17 years old, she is now a defensive midfielder in selection and right piston in club. Changes that do not disturb the one who moved to the United States at the age of 20, after having chained second-class clubs in her country, to live between her dream of becoming a professional player and her degree in criminology. at the University of Florida. Back in Scandinavia after pocketing the title of university champion, she discovers all the joys of being paid to play football: showcasing herself for contracts, paying attention to the smallest details… A set of things she admits herself not to imagine, but which also testifies to the progress made in the space of her five years of American freelance. A change in which she greatly participated in rejoicing in obtaining equal pay on the return of the 2019 World Cup. There it is, the World Cup effect.
The stadium to discover: Milton Keynes
A new town in England, founded following a vote in Parliament in 1967, Milton Keynes is today known as the “Energy Capital of the UK” because of its rapid economic growth and its more than standard buildings in terms of ecology and design. Obviously, the famous Stade MK, home of the Milton Keynes Dons in League One, does not escape the modernist vigor and roughly resembles all recent European stadiums. Except that it was inaugurated by the Queen herself in 2007, during a visit to the city which now has 195,000 inhabitants. Another particularity is that this 30,000-seat enclosure is only intended to be an efficient sports arena more than an aesthetic one: a Marco Pierre White restaurant, the first Briton to win three Michelin stars, is an integral part of the stadium, while rooms from the neighboring Hilton Hotel offer views of the pitch. What to type a nap before seeing each of Finland’s matches or a potential semi-final between France and Spain… We must not skip the alarm clock. 90 minutes later, the result could be brutal.
—Natalie Atkinson (@McFaddener_1988) April 14, 2019
The anecdote to highlight during tea time
Many German footballers have repeatedly said: “I will never join Bayern. » This sentence, appearing in a song by the Düsseldorf punk-rock group Die Toten Hosen (whose leader Campino is a Liverpool fan and a friend of Klopp), also appeared on a poster in the room of the young Lea Schüller. Growing up in North Rhine-Westphalia, she has always been a supporter of Borussia Dortmund. However, after seven years with Essen and with BvB struggling to launch its first women’s team, she joined… Bayern in 2020. “I’m a Dortmund fan, if you can put it that way.still assumes the striker a year after his transfer. When I watch football, I like to watch Dortmund, and I also like to be inspired by Erling Haaland. » Like the Norwegian and Robert Lewandowski, of whom she “should draw a lot of inspiration” she is now the biggest threat in front of the goal of the German selection (24 goals in 39 games at only 24 years old). And she frames her shots in the box so often that fans don’t just say anymore “it grinds” in reference to Gerd Müller, but “it slams” .
— DFB women (@DFB_Frauen) November 26, 2021
The editor’s prono
Spain: 7 dots
Denmark: 5 points
Germany : 4 points
Finland: 0 points
By Anna Carreau