The wait is almost over — Euro 2022 will officially kick off this week when hosts England open the tournament at Old Trafford.
In the lead up to the highly anticipated competition, we’ve been previewing every team due to participate this summer.
In this fourth and final instalment, we take a look at Group D, featuring France, Italy, Belgium and Iceland.
Manager: Corinne Diacre
World ranking: 3rd
History: Despite being one of the favourites to win Euro 2022, France have not had the best record at the tournament.
In 1997, Les Bleues reached the quarter-finals after failing to qualify for the competition on six consecutive occasions. Since then, France have become more consistent and boast some of the world’s most talented players.
However, they are still yet to better their 1997 result. In 2014 and 2017, France reached back-to-back quarter-finals but will be looking to improve on this record in England this year.
Key players: With Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain players making up the majority of the France national team, they are stacked with world class talent.
Veteran Wendie Renard will bring her wealth of experience, as well as her impressive 33 goals in 131 appearances, despite being a defender.
France also boast Marie-Antoinette Katoto in attack, who enters Euro 2022 fresh out of a league-winning season with PSG. With 18 goals in the bag, last campaign was Katoto’s third as the Division 1 Féminine Golden Boot winner.
Despite the presence of these influential players, Les Bleues will be without captain Amandine Henry and top scorer Eugenie Le Sommer.
Goalkeepers: Mylène Chavas (Bordeaux), Justine Lerond (Metz), Pauline Peyraud-Magnin (Juventus)
Defenders: Wendie Renard (Lyon), Marion Torrent (Montpellier), Aissatou Tounkara (Atlético Madrid), Sakina Karchaoui (PSG), Selma Bacha (Lyon), Sandy Baltimore (PSG), Griedge Mbock Bathy (Lyon), Eve Perisset (Chelsea), Hawa Cissoko (West Ham)
Midfielders: Ella Palis (Bordeaux), Sandie Toletti (Levante), Grace Geyoro (PSG), Clara Mateo (Paris FC), Charlotte Bilbault (Bordeaux), Kenza Dali (Everton, Delphine Cascarino (Lyon)
Forwards: Marie-Antoinette Katoto (PSG), Kadidiatou Diani (PSG), Melvine Malard (Lyon), Ouleymata Sarr (Paris FC)
How will they fare? Group D winners
Tournament odds: 5/1
Manager: Milena Bertolini
World ranking: 14th
History: Italy hosted and won the first ever unofficial European Competition in 1969 — a precursor tournament to the now UEFA European Championships.
While the Italians have never won at the Euros, they finished second on two occasions, the most recent being in 1997.
Since then, their best finish saw them reach the quarter-finals in 2013 and 2017. Last year, they failed to make it beyond the group stages.
Key players: Italy will be looking to get off to a strong start in the group stages and will be relying on their impressive attacking roster.
Juventus’ Cristiana Girelli is Italy’s highest scorer still currently playing, with 43 goals in 66 senior appearances.
Joining her at Euro 2022 is club teammate Barbara Bonansea. The two won the treble with Juve last season, and since their time with Italian champions, they have scored a combined 133 goals.
Goalkeepers: Laura Giuliani (AC Milan), Katja Schroffenegger (Fiorentina), Francesca Durante (Inter Milan)
Defenders: Sara Gama (Juventus), Elena Linari (Roma), Elisa Bartoli (Roma), Maria Luisa Filangeri (Sassuolo), Lucia Di Guglielmo (Roma), Lisa Boattin (Juventus), Martina Lenzini (Juventus)
Midfielders: Valentina Bergamaschi (AC Milan), Aurora Galli (Everton), Manuela Giugliano (Roma), Flaminia Simonetti (Inter), Martina Rosucci (Juventus), Arianna Caruso (Juventus), Valentina Cernoia (Juventus)
Forwards: Daniela Sabatino (Fiorentina), Cristiana Girelli (Juventus), Barbara Bonansea (Juventus), Agnese Bonfantini (Juventus), Valentina Giacinti (Fiorentina), Martina Piemonte (AC Milan)
How will they fare? Group D runners-up
Tournament odds: 28/1
Manager: Ives Serneels
World ranking: 19th
History: This year will be just Belgium’s second appearance at the European Championships in the country’s history. They qualified for their first tournament in 2017 but failed to make it past the group stages.
But despite their lack of experience in the competition, the Red Flames have some talented players in their squad who could make a difference on the pitch.
Key players: Captain Tessa Wullaert is Belgium’s top scorer with 67 goals in 109 appearances. The forward currently plays for Anderlecht but has previously represented Manchester City and VfL Wolfsburg.
Wullaert won two Frauen-Bundesliga titles with the latter, as well as finishing as runner-up in two Champions League finals.
Justine Vanhaevermaet is another creative player who Belgium will be relying on to provide goalscoring opportunities.
Last season, the midfielder enjoyed a strong Women’s Super League debut by popping up with some important goals and assists for Reading.
Goalkeepers: Nicky Evrard (Gent), Diede Lemey (Sassuolo), Lisa Lichtfus (Dijon FCO)
Defenders: Davina Philtjens (Sassuolo), Janice Cayman (Lyon), Jody Vangheluwe (Club YLA), Laura De Neve (Anderlecht), Sari Kees (Oud-Heverlee Leuven), Laura Deloose (Anderlecht)
Midfielders: Amber Tysiak (Oud-Heverlee Leuven), Feli Delacauw (Fortuna Sittard), Justine Vanhaevermaet (Reading), Davinia Vanmechelen (Club YLA), Marie Minnaert (Anderlecht), Charlotte Tison (Anderlecht), Julie Biesmans (PSV Eindhoven), Kassandra Missipo (FC Basel)
Forwards: Ella Van Kerkhoven (Gent), Sarah Wijnants (Anderlecht), Tine De Caigny (Hoffenheim), Hannah Eurlings (OH Leuven), Tessa Wullaert (Anderlecht), Elena Dhont (Twente)
How will they fare? 4th place in Group D
Tournament odds: 100/1
Watch the final episode of 'Meet the Flames' in our app.— Belgian Red Flames (@BelRedFlames) July 5, 2022
Manager: Þorsteinn Halldorsson
World ranking: 17th
History: Iceland are another country still relatively new to the European Championships, having first qualified for the tournament in 2009.
After being knocked out in the group stages on their debut, they came roaring back in 2013, where they reached the quarter-finals. However, they were unable to build on this result and were handed another group stage defeat in 2017.
Key players: Icelandic skipper Sara Bjork Gunnarsdóttir is her nation’s most capped player with 138 and has been in the senior set up since she was just 16 years old.
The midfielder has won four Frauen-Bundesliga titles with VfL Wolfsburg and two Champions Leagues with Lyon. Juventus announced she had joined their ranks earlier this month.
Gunnarsdóttir will be joined in the middle of the park by Dagný Brynjarsdóttir, who is Iceland’s highest active top scorer.
She has represented Bayern Munich and Portland Thorns among other teams and is currently a key player for West Ham in the WSL.
Goalkeepers: Sandra Sigurdardóttir (Valur), Telma Ívarsdóttir (Breiðablik), Cecilía Rúnarsdóttir (Bayern Munich)
Defenders: Sif Atladóttir (UMF Selfoss), Elisa Vidarsdóttir (Valur), Glódís Viggósdóttir (Bayern Munich), Ingibjörg Sigurdardóttir (Vålerenga), Hallbera Gísladóttir (IFK Kalmar), Gudrún Arnardóttir (FC Rosengård), Gudny Árnadóttir (AC Milan)
Midfielders: Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir (Orlando Pride), Sara Bjork Gunnarsdóttir (Juventus), Karólína Lea Vilhjálmsdóttir (Bayern Munich), Dagný Brynjarsdóttir (West Ham), Selma Sól Magnúsdóttir (Rosenborg), Alexandra Jóhannsdóttir (Eintracht Frankfurt), Áslaug Munda Gunnlaugsdóttir (Breiðablik), Amanda Jacobsen Andradóttir (Kristianstad)
Forwards: Berglind Thorvaldsdóttir (Brann), Elín Jensen (Valur), Agla Maria Albertsdottir (Breiðablik), Svava Gudmundsdóttir (Brann), Sveindís Jónsdóttir (VfL Wolfsburg)
How will they fare? 3rd place in Group D
Tournament odds: 100/1