The Women's EURO Cup: Female Soccer Players Capture the World's Attention
In the European summer, women’s soccer will have one of its main events around the world: the European Championship Women’s Eurocup. This competition will take place in England and is expected to mark the important growth that the discipline has had in the last years.
With the season already finished for the clubs, the national teams are preparing to dispute this cup that’s been organized every 4 years since 1997. Germany has won the most times, with a total of 8 trophies. They’re followed by Norway with 2 and the Netherlands and Sweden, with 1 win each.
Details and context of the Women’s Eurocup 2022
The Women’s European Football Championship will be held between Wednesday, July 6, and Sunday, July 31. Some of the venues will be London, Manchester, and Brighton; the final will be played at the mythical Wembley stadium.
16 teams will participate in the first stage, of which the first two in each group will advance to the quarterfinals. From there, the knockout phase will be played in a single match.
The event will take place at a time when women’s soccer is booming, thus consolidating the empowerment of women in this sport, which has historically been dominated by male competition. Currently, there are even women’s teams that have even achieved wage parity with the men’s team, as is the case in the United States.
In September 2021, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) announced that it would double the prize money for Euro 2022 compared to that of the 2017 edition. The total to be distributed will be €16 million.
This was taken as a recognition of women’s soccer, but in reality, it’s also something that has been very well-earned. In the last edition of the UEFA Women’s Champions League, there were record attendances.
The all-time record was in two matches:
- First, in the quarterfinals, in the match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, which was attended by 91,553 people.
- Then, the record was broken in another home game, in the semi-final against Wolfsburg, which was watched by 91,648 spectators.
Likewise, the numbers in terms of viewers also grew. Counting all the platforms that broadcast the event on the Internet, more than 55 million viewers watched the matches throughout the Champions League.
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The main figures that will compete at the Women’s Eurocup
As in any sporting competition, the Women’s European Championship will have some stars that will hold the attention of specialists and fans. There’s a certain degree of unanimity regarding these names and here we list one from each group.
The FC Barcelona midfielder is the latest winner of the Ballon d’Or, an award given by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to the best player in the world. She’s also a reference for the Spanish national team despite her youth, at 28 years of age.
Putellas is coming off a fantastic season with a Barcelona team that won three League, Cup, and Super Cup titles. Her team, Spain, will share Group B with Germany, Denmark, and Finland.
White – the play in the featured image of this article – is a player of the England national team, which will compete in Group A against Austria, Norway, and Northern Ireland. The Manchester City player is one of the continent’s top scorers and has already played in three World Cups.
Lieke Martens at the Women’s Eurocup
In Group C, which includes the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland, Lieke Martens will be the star of the Women’s European Championship. Putellas’ teammate at FC Barcelona, the striker who stood out in the Dutch team that won the last edition of the tournament and is also the host.
In that competition, Martens scored three goals – one of them in the final – and provided 2 assists. As if that weren’t enough, she was elected the best player of the tournament.
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Finally, in group D stands out the presence of Wendie Renard, France’s defender, considered one of the best in the world in her position. She will have to face Italy, Belgium, and Iceland with her national team.
Renard comes from being a star in the Olympique Lyon team that won the UEFA Champions League in the 2021/2022 season. She’s also the highest-paid player in the French league.
The Women’s Eurocup with the eyes of the world watching
From all of the above, it’s clear that this Women’s EURO won’t be just another event in the summer calendar. The competition promises a lot and will surely mark a milestone for a sport that’s on the rise.
The next World Cup will be held in 2023, with Australia and New Zealand as hosts. With the steps that women’s soccer has been taking, there’s no doubt that the impact of the event will be greater than ever.