Which players will shine at Euro 2022? Hemp, Miedema, Harder or Hegerberg?

The biggest event of the year for women’s football is just around the corner. Here, Planet Sport takes a look at the key players ahead of July's European Championship.

A total of 16 teams will battle for European supremacy in the 16th edition of the women's Euros. 

England will host the month-long extravaganza which gets underway on July 6 and culminates at Wembley Stadium on July 31.

Following the immense growth of women's football, many are expecting this to be the biggest event the female game has ever seen on this continent.

Question is, who are the chief protagonists and who should you keep a close eye on? Here, Planet Sport looks at the key players ahead of the event.

Lauren Hemp (England)

England enter this year's European Championship as one of the favourites which is no surprise considering the depth of talent in Sarina Wiegman's team.

One player who will be looking to make a particularly big splash on the international scene is Lauren Hemp.

The 21-year-old enjoyed a stellar season with Manchester City and stormed to her fourth PFA Women's Young Player of the Year award.

No other attacking player in the Women's Super League this season has carried the ball into the box and taken on more defenders in the opposition half than Hemp.

What's more, the winger recently went on an incredible run which saw her score or assist in eight consecutive games for club and country. During that run, Hemp scored nine goals and made eight assists.

Ada Hegerberg (Norway)

One of the biggest stories ahead of the European Championship was the return of Ada Hegerberg to the Norwegian national team.

The player recently ended her five-year hiatus from the international scene and is set to compete in her first major tournament since the 2017 Euros.

Hegerberg is an icon in women's football having won six Champions League titles and also claimed the inaugural women's Ballon d'Or in 2018.

Caroline Graham Hansen (Norway)

While all eyes in the Norwegian camp will be on Hegerberg, one player who could steal the headlines is Caroline Graham Hansen.

The 27-year-old is considered as one of the best wingers in women's football and for the last few years, she has played a big part in Barcelona's successes.

In her 33 outings for the Catalan giants last season, she not only chipped in with eight goals, but also came up with 17 assists.

Svenja Huth (Germany)

Considering Germany have won six of the last seven European Championship titles, it comes as no surprise to see Die Nationalelf as one of the favourites in 2022.

One of their key players who is expected to shine in this tournament is Svenja Huth.

The 31-year-old was named the 2021/22 Player of the Season in Germany after closing out the season with 16 direct goal involvements for Wolfsburg - including a league-leading 12 assists.

Huth is comfortable on either flank and the forward showed that during the recent Champions League campaign where she created more goalscoring opportunities than anyone else.

Lea Schuller (Germany)

Another player who could lead Germany to international glory is Lea Schuller.

The 24-year-old ended her campaign with Bayern Munich as the Bundesliga's top scorer.

The 2021 Germany Player of the Year scored 16 goals in 22 games, and also chipped in with four assists along the way.

Schuller also scored four times in the Champions League and currently boasts 25 goals from 38 appearances for her national team.

Claudia Pina (Spain)

While Putellas might be the star, it's Claudia Pina who will be looked at as the young prospect in the Spanish squad.

The 20-year-old recently forced herself into Barcelona's first team and enjoyed a stellar campaign with the club, scoring 15 goals and producing 11 assists in 24 league games.

Pernille Harder (Denmark)

Back in 2013, Pernille Harder helped Denmark to a European Championship semi-final. Four years later, the Danes went one step further and reached the final, but ultimately came up short against hosts, Netherlands.

This year, Harder will be more desperate than ever to win the tournament as she looks to add international silverware to her already impeccable CV.

The 29-year-old has done it all at club level, having won two UEFA Player of the Year awards, seven Danish Player of the Year awards and most recently claimed a domestic treble with Chelsea.

Winning a major event with her country would only reaffirm her status as one of the greatest players in women's football.

Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands)

Netherlands player Vivianne Miedema

Speaking of greats, let's talk about Vivianne Miedema.

Despite being just 25 years old, Miedema is already regarded as one of the greatest goalscorers in football.

The Arsenal forward is the all-time top Women's Super League goalscorer with 74 efforts in 89 games.

What's more, she is also the all-time top scorer for the Netherlands - including the men - with 92 goals in 108 games. Miedema's recent form on the international scene has been particularly frightening, with the player bagging 22 goals in 17 games over the last two years.

Fridolina Rolfo (Sweden)

With 28 goal contributions for Barcelona this season, Sweden's Fridolina Rolfo is undoubtedly the real deal.

The player scored nine goals and produced 10 assists in the league, and added to that total in the Champions League, scoring three goals and creating six assists.

If her goal contributions weren't enough, you can also expect the Swede to make up a lot of ground, considering she finished her European campaign fifth player for the most distance covered.

Marie-Antoinette Katoto (France)

If France are to have a strong tournament, a lot will depend on the form of Marie-Antoinette Katoto.

The 23-year-old is a product of the Paris Saint-Germain academy and has scored over 20 goals in five consecutive seasons for the club.

Many are tipping the French forward for the golden boot, though she does face a lot of stiff competition for that accolade.

Melvine Malard (France)

Another player to keep an eye on in the French camp is Melvine Malard.

The lighting quick forward is a three-time Champions League winner with Lyon and came up with 16 goals and five assist last season alone.

Tine De Caigny (Belgium)

Tine De Caigny could be described as Belgium's answer to Vivianne Miedema.

The 25-year-old has already amassed 72 caps for her country and is the third all-time top scorer with 37 international goals to her name.

If Belgium are to have a strong campaign, expect Caigny to be at the forefront of the action.

READ MORE: UEFA Women’s Euro 2022: The ultimate guide to the BBC-televised event

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