We’re now into the top ten of GiveMeSport Women’s 50 players to watch at Euro 2022.
This list is stacked high with world-class international talent and it’s almost inevitable that every name on this list will play a huge part in their team’s run at the tournament this summer.
This includes Leah Williamson, who will be leading the Lionesses out at Old Trafford tomorrow as Euro 2022 kicks off. It is not the first time she has played a crucial role for her country – back in 2015, the star scored one of the most bizarre penalties ever for England.
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So let’s get right down to business and unveil the ten players who top off our star-studded list. Missed 20-11? Read it here.
10) Name: Linda Sällström
Linda Sällström is a mentality monster and one of Finland’s most crucial players.
The forward has suffered three ACL injuries during her career but has bounced back each and every time.
Sällström is a Finland centurion and in 2019, she became her country’s top goalscorer, regardless of gender.
Finland reached the Euro semi-finals in 2005, recording their best finish at the tournament. Can Sällström help her country go one better this year?
9) Name: Alexia Putellas
As she is officially the best player in the world right now, there’s no need for an introduction to Alexia Putellas.
After an astonishing treble-winning season with Barcelona, the Spaniard scooped the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year, Ballon d’Or, and The Best FIFA Women’s Player award, becoming the first player to win all three accolades in one year.
Alexia holds the record for most caps for the Spanish women’s team, and boasts the second highest number of goals scored and appearances made for Barcelona Femení.
8) Name: Leah Williamson
Leah Williamson has been given the honour of captaining her country at Euro 2022.
The versatile defender has adapted to a new role as holding midfielder under England manager Sarina Wiegman. Her lethal combination of no-nonsense defending and ability to create goal scoring opportunities makes her a real threat in the middle of the park.
Over the last few years, Williamson has quickly established herself as one of the stalwart Lionesses. All eyes will be on the 25-year-old as she leads her team out at their home tournament next month.
The star is known for keeping her cool in stressful situations. In fact, Williamson experienced a surreal five days while playing for England in a qualifying tournament for the Women’s Under-19 European Championship.
The Lionesses began their campaign with a clash against Norway on April 4th 2015, which they lost 2-1 after Williamson scored an injury-time penalty which was dramatically ruled out for encroachment. Instead of correctly ordering a re-take, the referee awarded Norway an indirect free-kick.
Due to the incorrect application of the game’s laws, the FA lodged an appeal with UEFA, who then ordered the match to be replayed from the point of the penalty.
With the decision made on April 9th and the match set to be played on April 10th, Williamson had 24 hours to mull over the looming penalty kick. To give the situation more jeopardy, she had the chance to secure qualification for England by scoring the penalty.
Five days after the original match, Williamson’s second attempt at the penalty was successful. The final whistle sounded moments after Norway re-started the game, with the replay lasting just 16 seconds.
7) Name: Lea Schüller
Lea Schüller is a forward who will trouble even the toughest of defenders.
While she hasn’t been in the international setup as long as some of her teammates, her goal-appearance ratio certainly makes up for lost time.
In 39 senior games played for Germany, Schüller has scored 25 goals. She is just as clinical on the domestic stage too, with 47 goals in 63 appearances for Bayern Munich.
6) Name: Rebecca McKenna
Nationality: Northern Ireland
Young defender Rebecca McKenna will become a part of history this summer when Northern Ireland play in their first ever major tournament.
She played a key role during the qualifying stages to help the Green and White Army achieve the unimaginable.
The 21-year-old currently plays for Lewes FC and has great versatility in her ability to play either in defence or midfield, which will keep the opposition on their toes.
5) Name: Carina Wenninger
This year will be Austria’s second ever Euros, after 2017 marked their first ever major tournament.
Out of the current senior Austria setup, no one has more international appearances than Carina Wenninger.
With more than 100 caps to her name, the defender is a stalwart for the Austrians and played her role in helping them finish third place at their first Euros in 2017.
4) Name: Guro Reiten
The return of Ada Hegerberg is a huge moment for Norway as they prepare for the Euros, but the likes of Guro Reiten must not be overlooked.
The playmaker has notched 59 senior caps for her country and helped them win the Algarve Cup in 2019.
Since signing for Chelsea, Reiten has contributed 22 goals in 87 appearances.
3) Name: Pernille Harder
Pernille Harder, regarded as one of the best forwards in the world, is another Chelsea star to watch out for this summer.
When she joined the London outfit in 2020, she commanded what is believed to be the biggest transfer sum in women’s football history, and it’s easy to see why.
During her time with Wolfsburg, Harder bagged a whopping 103 goals in 114 appearances before venturing to England.
So far for Chelsea, she has scored 31 goals in 62 games and has showcased her versatility to play both up front and in attacking midfield.
Harder has represented Denmark 134 times and has scored on 68 occasions.
2) Name: Sandra Paños
Sandra Paños is no stranger to big events like the Euros.
During her international career, the goalkeeper has played at the 2017 Euros, and the 2015 and 2019 World Cup. She is also an integral part of the current Barcelona setup.
Paños won the treble with Barca last season. Over the course of her career, she has won a record four Zamora Trophies, the award for the shot-stopper with the fewest goals conceded in the Primera Iberdrola.
The 29-year-old has played for Barcelona since 2015 and the Spanish national team since 2011. Her experience at international tournaments will be highly useful to those around her.
1) Name: Lauren Hemp
Lauren Hemp, one of England’s brightest talents, has everyone excited about the future of the national team.
Despite being just 21 years old, the Manchester City winger has rapidly established herself as a crucial component for both her domestic and international sides.
With pace to burn and a keen eye for creativity, Hemp is a real thorn in the side of any defence. She has scored 41 goals in 93 appearances for City and seven in 22 for England.
Hemp is also a four-time winner of the PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year award.
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