The beauty of international tournaments is that there is always an abundance of talent to brag about.
Even when they are limited to Europe, this remains a constant fact.
From football revelers to newcomers, here are some of the names to watch at Euro 2022.
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Group A stars to watch
- Lauren Hemp: Manchester City’s Lauren Hemp arrives at the Euros having won her fourth PFA Young Player of the Year award in England, a testament to her consistent performance. The star winger will no doubt be an integral part of England’s Euro 2022 campaign, and has the ability to change the outcome of a game single-handedly.
- Caroline Graham Hansen: Still on the winger theme, it wouldn’t be out of place to consider FC Barcelona’s Graham Hansen as one of the greatest players in history. At the top of her game, CGH is unplayable and a nightmare for any full-back – although after the UCL final, Lyonnaise Selma Bacha could offer advice on how to shut her up.
- With the return of Ada Hegerberg, Norway and CGH now have an elite number 9 to create for and they hope everything falls into place in the hope of winning the title.
Group B stars to watch
- Alexia Putellas: What is there to say about Alexia Putellas that hasn’t already been said? The Spanish midfielder plays for club and country with her heart on her sleeve and finds a way to deliver on every occasion. Putellas’ individual awards speak for themselves, with UEFA Women’s Player of the Year and Ballon d’Or awards to her name, and now she faces the expectation of leading Spain towards success.
- Giulia Gwinn: Germany have long dominated the European Championships until their last winning run in 2013, earning their place as the most successful team in the competition with eight titles to their name. But now is the time for newcomers to step up and build their own legacy. At 22, Gwinn is spearheading the next generation of German women, and she has already proven she can help them. At the 2019 World Cup, she scored the only goal in the opening game and was named the tournament’s best young player. Gwinn suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury which kept her out of German action until the end of 2021.
Group C stars to watch
- Vivianne Miedema: The Netherlands have one of the most versatile forwards in the game, if not the most versatile. While most forwards focus on their performances in front of the home crowd, the 24-year-old is able to live up to the hopes placed in her, but also create chances from depth.
She is her country’s top scorer and, at Tokyo 2020 in 2021, she broke the record for the most goals scored in a single women’s Olympic tournament.
The Arsenal striker may not be making WSL headlines after last season, but she should never be sidelined.
- Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic: double winner of the Champions League, Crnogorcevic is simply indispensable to Switzerland. The 31-year-old is her country’s all-time top scorer with 61 goals.
And as Alisha Lehmann has withdrawn from the Euros, her role could be even more crucial if Switzerland hopes to progress in the competition. Her versatility is an important element of her game, she can play on the front line or at right-back as she did with FC Barcelona.
Group D stars to watch
- Marie-Antoinette Katoto: The world of women’s football certainly has no shortage of talented attackers, and our Frenchwoman Katoto is one of the best. When Katoto performs, she uplifts everyone around her. And that’s all we expect from the French team. Her reading of the game is what makes her so difficult to play for defenders.
Not only does she have the movement and the ability to create chances, but she also has the end product to go with it.
108 goals in 113 games for PSG, and 24 in 29 games for her country: Katoto is already one of the best players in the world.
- Laura Giuliani: When it comes to outstanding players, attackers are often rewarded for their impact on the goals scored. But at the 2019 World Cup, goalkeeper Giuliani was a player who impressed hugely.
She helped Italy to keep two clean sheets and reach the quarter-finals, where they lost to the Netherlands, finally now defending champions.
Key saves, including a penalty save from Australian Sam Kerr, put her on many fans’ radar.
In the group stages of the 2023 World Cup qualifiers, she conceded just three goals – two against Switzerland and one against Spain – cementing her place among Italy’s most important players.
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