From Wednesday, the European Women’s Football Championship will not only be a battle between sixteen countries, but also a showdown between the big stars. NU.nl lists the six biggest stars of the tournament in England.
Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands)
She appeared in British television programs, appears in television commercials to promote the European Championship and is the most popular player of the Orange Women. In the run-up to this European Championship, no one can ignore Vivianne Miedema’s star status.
The popularity award for Miedema does not come out of the blue: the 25-year-old Arsenal striker is the big star of the host country’s competition. With 74 goals, the native Hoogeveen is the all-time top scorer in the Women’s Super League.
Miedema is also well on the way with the Orange Women: at the last major tournament, last year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, she became top scorer with ten goals. It should be clear that the spotlights are focused on the all-time top scorer of the Orange Women throughout the European Championship.
Vivianne Miedema is the big star of this European Championship.
Alexia Putellas (Spain)
She was voted World Football Player of the Year in October last year by force majeure and is perhaps the most famous player in women’s football. In the shirt of FC Barcelona and Spain, Alèxia Putellas has been enchanting international stadiums for many years.
The 28-year-old Putellas plays as an attacking midfielder, but has the statistics of a striker. This year she scored 34 goals and 18 assists for FC Barcelona, who became champions without losing a single point. She is immensely popular in Barcelona: many fans wear the Putellas shirt.
With Spain, Putellas has not been nearly as successful. At the last two European Championships, ‘La Roja’ got stuck in the quarterfinals. Now that the other star player Jennifer Hermoso is out due to an injury, a lot comes down to Putellas. As a big star, she can probably withstand that pressure, but the question is whether the team is strong enough to make history in England.
Star player Alèxia Putellas is highly regarded by Spain.
Ellen White (England)
She is described in the British press as the jewel of the English attack. Given her 33 years, Ellen White is above all a cut diamond. The Manchester City striker is the big star in the team of Dutch national coach Sarina Wiegman.
White’s statistics are telling: with 50 international goals, she is only ahead of Wayne Rooney (53 goals) in England’s all-time top scorer rankings (men and women). It was big news in England when she scored her fiftieth international goal in April.
White has not had her best season at City, scoring just four goals. She also tested positive for the corona virus two weeks before the European Championship. White will therefore have to take a different approach to help football-mad England to the first title. It will surely earn her a statue if she succeeds.
The English pin their hopes on Ellen White.
Pernille Harder (Denmark)
With a transfer fee of 250,000 euros, Pernille Harder can call herself the most expensive female football player of all time since the summer of 2020. And Chelsea, which took over from VfL Wolfsburg at the time, did not just pay that amount: Harder is a two-time Player of the Year at UEFA.
With her velvet technique, Harder is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time in women’s football. The Orange women have also become acquainted with this: Five years ago, Harder made the 2-2 in the European Championship final in Enschede, which the Netherlands won 4-2 after the break.
A new European Championship final seems unattainable for Denmark and Harder, who won three prizes with her club Chelsea this season. The competition seems to have become too strong for that in recent years. But with Harder’s creative impulses on the left flank of the attack, Denmark can go far again.
Pernille Harder is the great architect in Denmark.
Ada Hegerberg (Norway)
If corona had not existed and the European Championship had been held in England as planned last year, we would never have seen Ada Hegerberg shine on the English fields. The winner of the first Ballon d’Or in history was out for 21 months due to a serious knee injury. It was only at the end of last year that the striker made her return to her club Olympique Lyonnais.
In addition, there was a long-running conflict with the Norwegian Football Association, which gave the women less money than the men to Hegerberg’s incomprehension. For that reason, she has not been available for the national team since the European Championship of 2017, in which superpower Norway was already eliminated in the group stage.
At the beginning of this year, the folds were ironed out and Hegerberg is back in the Norwegian selection. And with that, one of the best strikers in the world returns to the highest podium. She scored no less than 320 times in 342 matches, including at the end of May in the Champions League final against FC Barcelona (1-3).
Ada Hegerberg is back in the Norwegian squad after a long conflict.
Marie Antoinette Katoto (France)
Of all six players, Marie-Antoinette Katoto may be the most unknown, but the France striker has what it takes to become the new star of women’s football. Katoto became the top scorer of the French league last season.
The top goalscorer title for the Paris Saint-Germain attacker came as no surprise. Katoto is only 23 years old but has already scored more than 100 league goals for the Parisians. From next season she will be served by, among others, Lieke Martens, who will exchange Barcelona for the capital of France.
Katoto already showed her class against the Orange Women in February: she scored twice in the 3-1 friendly international match. At the first major tournament in her career, the physically strong striker can just experience her big breakthrough.
Marie-Antoinette Katoto scores continuously with France and Paris Saint-Germain.