The Women’s World Cup of 2019 turned many of the competition’s stars into household names, and the Women’s Euros of 2022 has every opportunity to do the same.
There is often tremendous pressure on women’s footballers to not just play the sport, but also simultaneously be role models and advocates for the game. Many take this mantle on with considerable grace but it is easy to overlook that these are ultimately professional sports people whose key focus is on winning. Generally, there seems to be an increasing move away from the focus on these players being ‘trailblazers’ to instead consider their actual footballing quality.
Here are five players who will be making headlines at Euro 2022.
Alexia Putellas, Spain
The current holder of the Ballon D’Or, Alexia Putellas is quite simply one of the most talented footballers in the world.
The Spanish midfielder has become the poster girl for Barcelona, embodying the style of play that the Catalan club views as its brand. She has the kind of on the ball vision that allows her to see passes that most players could not even conceive of. Her touch allows her to move past opposition players like they were not even there. And on top of all of that, she can score goals for fun. She finished top scorer in the Champions League this season but it was her part in Barcelona’s decimation of Chelsea in last year’s Champions League final that really made people pay attention. She will be hoping to do the same with Spain here.
Ada Hegerberg, Norway
The all-time Champions League top scorer and winner of the inaugural Ballon D’Or, for a long time it looked like Ada Hegerberg would not be at Euro 2022.