Guide to the Spain Women’s Euro 2022 team: stars, players, coach, tactics, expectations…

Insight

Spain enjoyed an excellent Euro 2022 qualifying campaign. La Roja clinched an automatic place in the tournament after finishing top of Group D, six points ahead of the Czech Republic. No one could approach the Spaniards. They have recorded seven wins, one draw and no losses, scoring 48 goals and conceding only once. A team dominated by Barcelona players, this is one that head coach Jorge Vilda has sought to make more direct than usual. The style paid off in the form of big wins such as the 10-0 and 13-0 thrashings of Moldova and Azerbaijan respectively.

“We are very happy and very proud of the work of the players” Wilda said. “We have qualified for the biggest continental competition, the Euros. It is an exploit. The way we handled it is also an achievement. There are high hopes for this team, and it all depends on how the players performed. We had some good results, but I would say we are contenders rather than favourites. There are other teams that are favourites; I will leave them this label.

Spain qualifies for the Euro having already booked its ticket for the next World Cup: it will be one of the 32 teams that will go to Australia and New Zealand in 2023. This will be their third consecutive participation in the tournament. For nine years, Spain has not missed a grand final, whether the Euro or the World Cup. Vilda’s side also climbed to seventh place in the Fifa World Rankings – their highest position to date. The likes of Irene Paredes, Jenni Hermoso, Patri Guijarro, Aitana Bonmatí, Sandra Paños and Alexia Putellas have taken Spanish women’s football to the next level. It’s a team that commands respect, with big names known across Europe and the world. The arrival of the Real Madrid squad in 2020 has also played its part in the exponential growth of women’s football in Spain. Everything indicates that La Roja can have a big impact. England might just be the time and place for it.

EURO 2022 Group B:

The head coach

Jorge Vilda took charge of Spain in 2015 after Ignacio Quereda was sent off after the World Cup in Canada. The 40-year-old previously worked with Spain’s age-group sides, coaching the Under-17s between 2010 and 2014, and the Under-19s between 2014 and 2015. Prior to his promotion to senior, he led the under-19 race. to the UEFA Women’s Championship Final. It will be his second Euro, as he also captained Spain to the World Cup in 2019. He is the son of Ángel Vilda, who was a fitness coach under Johan Cruyff at Barcelona. In 2018, he was among 10 nominees for Fifa’s Best Women’s Coach award.

star player

Alexia Putellas is the great Spanish star. Right now, the Barcelona midfielder is the best player in the world. Her leading role in Barca’s 2021 Champions League victory catapulted her onto the world stage and led her to win the Ballon d’Or and the FIFA Best Women’s Player award, as well as finish at the top of the Guardian’s Top 100 list. No Spaniard had won before either. At 28, Putellas pulls the strings for Spain in midfield and is a key influence in La Roja’s attack, scoring plenty of goals. She has just been named Champions League Player of the Season, after finishing as the competition’s top scorer with 11 goals.

Wildcard character

Claudia Pina is Spain’s great hope for the future. At just 20 years old, the striker is already a major figure in the Barcelona squad and is working hard to follow in the footsteps of her great idol, Alexia Putellas. She made her debut for the Blaugrana aged just 16 but then had to be loaned out to Sevilla to continue her development. She returned to Camp Nou a year later, and this season has established herself for club and country. Pina belongs to a generation of players who won the Under-17 World Cup in 2018. She was named the tournament’s best player and finished joint top scorer, and Jorge Vilda has been following her closely ever since.

Starting formation (4-4-2):

Sandra Paños, Olga Carmona, Irene Paredes, Mapi Leon, Leila Ouahabi, Patri Guijarro, Alexia Putellas, Aitana Bonmatí, Athenea del Castillo, Jenni Hermoso, Mariona Caldentey (if injuries permit)

heroes of all time

Vero Boquete was the great pioneer of women’s football in Spain. When La Liga Iberdrola was still a pipe dream, the midfielder took the leap and moved abroad to pursue her career. Tyresö (Sweden), the Utah Royals (NWSL), Bayern Munich and Frankfurt (where she won the Champions League in 2015), PSG, Milan… The list is long and now, at 35, she is still going through Serie A alongside Fiorentina. . His goal sealed Spain’s qualification for Euro 2013 in Sweden. This is where the national team really started to grow, with Boquete as captain and beating heart. She also captained the team at the country’s first-ever World Cup, in Canada in 2015.

history of the euro

So far, Spain has participated three times in the Euro. They never won it, or even reached the final. At the Spaniards’ first Euro, in 1997, they qualified for the semi-finals. However, it wasn’t until 2013 that La Roja made it back to the final – then they established themselves once and for all on the European stage. They haven’t missed a thing since. They lost 3-1 to Norway in the quarter-finals at Sweden 2013, and fell at the same stage in the Netherlands four years later to Austria. That year, their hopes of another semi-final were dashed when Silvia Meseguer missed her kick in a penalty shootout. Now, however, Spain are a very different proposition, as their unprecedented Fifa World Rankings illustrate.

Realistic goal for this summer

Spain’s aim is to break out of their group – after being drawn with Germany, second place may well be needed – and then advance to the quarter-finals. Reaching the semi-finals would be a dream result.

Leave a Comment