Tuesday, August 09, 2022

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Women's EURO England 2022: 16 nations,16 teams and 16 players

Logo for UEFA Women's Euro 2022 (via Wikipedia)

 

The 13th UEFA Women’s European Championship has just begun, taking place this summer between 6th and 31st July .The tournament is already the biggest yet, smashing multiple records. Millions of people will be tuning in worldwide and thanks to that I have put together a list of sixteen players, one from each nation.

 

This is a list of both the star players for their country and players who may go under the radar due to the amount of talent on show.

 

 

 

Player: Nicole Billa

Nation/Club: Austria/ TSG Hoffenheim 

Position: Striker

  

Billa is a great technician on the ball, like a street footballer, and off it she is always aware of her surroundings. The striker received the Torjägerkanone for the Frauen Bundesliga in the 2020/21 season, scoring twenty-three goals. Billa likes to come off the forward line and move into positions to facilitate and bring others into play. A typical Billa goal is a simple finish from yards out, utilising her elite-level positioning.

 

 

Player: Davina Philtjens

Nation/Club: Belgium/U.S Sassuolo

Position: Left-Back

 

Philtjens is an aggressive attacking full-back who has a great engine, shown best through her direct attacking runs. She is a player with great tactical understanding of the game, vital at club level as Sassuolo play some of the most attractive football in the women’s game. She’s an astute defender too, which will be displayed during this summer's tournament as you will be sure to see her come out successful in many one-versus-one duels.

 

 

Player: Stine Larsen

Nation/Club: Denmark/ BK Häcken

Position: Striker

 

The Dane is a model striker for many teams in today's game. Larsen is a strong striker who likes to stand on the shoulder of the right-sided centre-back and offer up her central position to another attacker. Often seen making runs into wide areas to stretch the defence and create central space, Larsen is a selfless player which is likely the reason she has been irreplaceable for Denmark.  She is very switched on in all scenarios, especially when receiving the ball and using her body as a shield to lay it off for a more ‘exiting player.’ 

 

 

Player: Keira Walsh

Nation/Club: England/Manchester City

Position: Holding Midfielder

 

Give her the ball and she will find you. As one of the best in the world in her position, Walsh is a pass master. She does not tend to venture forward much but that is not her game. If you get the chance to watch the hosts at the Euros you will be attracted to her long-range passing and decision-making skills as the Lionesses vary their attacking style. If England are to go deep in this tournament a lot of traffic will go through their metronome.

 

 

Player: Sanni Franssi

Nation/Club: Finland/Real Sociedad

Position: Striker

 

The former Juventus forward enjoys playing with her back to goal and bringing her midfielders and forward players into play. She tends to drift into the left and right half-spaces to achieve this. Franssi has scored twenty-one league goals in the last two seasons and forms a major part of the first Real Sociedad side to qualify for the UEFA Women’s Champions League. Finland have a striker who is as happy creating chances as finishing them off.

 

 

Player: Pauline Peyraud-Magnin

Nation/Club: France/Juventus

Position: Goalkeeper

 

A keeper mostly known for her strong character and reflexes. France’s new number one’s qualities have become prominent in the last three years since her moves to Arsenal and Juventus. Astute with the ball at her feet she is used to beginning attacks, either from the back or going long. Les Blues are a defensively strong side which saw a steely side concede zero goals in ten Euro 2022 qualifiers. The Juve shot-stopper has an unorthodox style of keeping with most of her saves coming from acrobatic actions and is somebody you would want if you need to run the clock down.

 

 

Player: Svenja Huth    

Nation/Club: Germany/ VfL Wolfsburg

Position: Attacking Midfielder

 

Stats can be misleading. Huth only scored four league goals in the past season, however, her very unselfish yet intelligent style of play is extremely effective, her role is likened to Tomas Muller’s Raumdeuter role but easier on the eye. Huth is always the second last piece in the jigsaw, always looking to drag players out of their position to create a passing option which often ends in a goal. Her dazzling feet will catch the eye during this summer's tournament as the die Mannschaft are sure to make a deep run and attempt to add a ninth European title.

 

 

Player: Glódís Viggósdóttir

Nation/Club: Iceland/Bayern Munich

Position: Centre-Back

 

One of the world's best long-range passers. Having a player who can progress the ball so accurately so often can only be a positive. Viggósdóttir only missed one league game in her debut season in Munich, showing her talent and dependability. Her defensive style is physical and aggressive which allowed her to fit in perfectly into Bayern’s quick ball recovery ethos. Be sure to look took out for rangy passes to the wings where Iceland have pacy wingers capable of taking advantage of the passes.

 

 

Player: Cristina Girelli

Nation/Club: Italy/Juventus

Position: Centre Forward

 

Girelli is certainly one of Europe’s finest forwards and continues the tradition of great Italian forwards. Girelli is like the manager on the pitch, you will see her talking to her teammates and telling them where to be. She is multi-faceted too, often dropping into midfield spaces, linking play, and then finishing the move off herself. Although she is a physical presence, the forward is light on her feet when in full flight. A shout for golden boot or even assist leader, (also watch out for her celebration when she inevitably scores).

 

 

Player: Lynn Wilms

Country/Club: Netherlands/VfL Wolfsburg

Position: Right-Back

 

A league winner in every season she has played as a professional footballer! Wilms is a forward-thinking player, a given considering she has played for both FC Twente and Wolfsburg. While at Twente, she played as a wing-back with a back three behind her to get the best out of her natural attacking tendencies. As a Dutch player she is typically equipped with a footballing brain and natural technical abilities, mix those attributes with a physically strong player and you have a perfect modern full-back.

 

 

Player: Demi Vance

Country/Club: Northern Ireland/Rangers

Position: Left-Back

 

Vance has been representing her country since the age of sixteen and with good reason too. The former Glentoran Belfast United player possesses a top-class left foot capable of finding anybody from anywhere. Vance enjoys bombing forward and most of the time you will see her hugging the touchline or making runs inwards with or without the ball. Unsurprisingly she is also the team's dead-ball specialist, and for that reason she plays a vital role in one of Northern Ireland's best routes to goal.

 

 

Player: Caroline Graham Hansen

Country/Club Norway/FC Barcelona

Position: Right Winger/ Attacking Midfielder

 

One of the most talented footballers of this century. The twenty-seven year-old is a part of the all-conquering Barcelona side at club level. An incredibly talented dribbler, the best in the world in that category. Also, a creative hub for any team that she is a part of.  Hansen always knows how heavy or light the weight of a pass should be and is seemly always five steps ahead of her opponent. Hansen plays centrally for her country, where she is comfortably surrounded by other world-class talents, making for a great show.

 

 

Player: Kika Nazareth

Country/Club: Portugal/SL Benfica

Position: Attacking Midfielder/Centre Forward

 

A deceivingly tenacious forward player is what you can describe this nineteen-year-old as. The Lisbon native is Portugal’s brightest prospect, wanting to display said talent come the 9th of July. The Portuguese likes to roam around the field and move into pockets of space, once with the ball at her feet, she takes no more than two touches; either laying the ball off or turning her marker. She is also defensively aware, demonstrated through her quick pressing and positional sense. Nazareth is the designated corner and free-kick tacker at club level, a weapon. Perhaps.

 

 

Player: Caroline Seger

Country/Club: Sweden/FC Rosengård

Position: Centre-Midfielder

 

The wise string-puller in the heart of the midfield. The most experienced outfield player that there is at this level. Seger has been a permanent fixture in the Swedish national team since 2005. Sweden play mainly through the wings but to get there, the playmaker is key. The game is dictated at her pace slowing time down or speeding it up when necessary. In recent years, the midfield has adjusted to the 37-year-old. Defending in a 4-4-2, Seger will hold her position as the rest of the midfield does her running, so if any of you are an aspiring holding midfielder, look to the two hundred and thirty time capped midfielder for some tips.

 

 

Player: Mariona Caldentey

Country/Club: Spain/FC Barcelona

Position: Left/Forward/Winger

 

One of the more unappreciated players in world football over the last five years. National team coach Jorge Vilda always picks her as his first-choice winger whenever the Mallorca native is available, logically, having given him plenty of reason to do so. Caldentey is not your traditional winger who likes to play wide and take on opponents, she is more of an inside forward who gets involved in the build-up. Expect to see dropping movements into midfield, which allow her full-back to get forward, typically Barcelona style. Movement off the ball is her strongest attribute, so make sure to lend an eye to the left side of the pitch when Spain methodically generate goal-scoring chances.

 

 

Player: Lia Wälti

Country/Club Switzerland/Arsenal WFC

Position: Defensive Midfielder

 

Win the ball, pass it, repeat. One of the best defensive-minded players in the world due to the Arsenal midfielders ball-winning ability. The Swiss captain is also an exceptional distributor, often moving the ball at her rhythm. She has a streak of unpredictability in her game. Ambidextrous, so you do not know if the ball is going left or right, perfectly disguised. Her principal role is to be the midfield anchor in the traditional sense meaning that you will hardly ever see her in the attacking third, acting like an extra layer in front of the defence.

 

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