A year after English football fans suffered after Gareth Southgate’s side lost in the Euros final, the Lionesses are aiming to do better and win the women’s tournament.
The Euro 2022 Women’s Championship kicks off on Wednesday when England take on Austria at Old Trafford – with the hosts one of the favorites for the title as they hunt for the first big silverware in their history.
Here, Sky News takes a look at nine players who are set to shine at the tournament over the next month, with the winning team due to be crowned at Wembley on July 31.
While the England squad feature some household names including record goalscorer Ellen White and new Barcelona signing Lucy Bronze, it’s 21-year-old Lauren Hemp who is being talked about as the Lionesses’ potential star at the Euros.
The Manchester City winger has won praise for his eye-catching runs and goals and will be hoping to make his mark at his first major international tournament.
She won a record fourth PFA Young Player of the Year award after finishing as City’s top scorer last season with 21 goals, while registering 10 assists.
Hemp has also impressed on the international stage, scoring four goals in England record 20-0 win over Latvia in November.
Spain and Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas could prove that she stood out from the tournament.
The midfielder is the current holder of the Women’s Ballon d’Or, the award given to the footballer voted the best in the world, and she was the heart of the Barca team, which won a domestic treble last season and the Champions League in 2021.
The 28-year-old scored 18 league goals last season and was the Champions League top scorer having netted 11 times, all from midfield.
Legendary former Barcelona playmaker Andres Iniesta described Putellas as ‘a role model’ and said she ‘shows what a club wants to show’.
Winner of the first Women’s Ballon d’Or in 2018, Norwegian star striker Ada Hegerberg played a key role for French club Lyon in winning the Champions League this year.
She returned to the Norway squad in March after a five-year absence as she was unhappy with the way women’s football was handled in the country.
The 26-year-old is the Women’s Champions League top scorer with 59 goals in the competition.
Hegerberg was involved in an infamous incident when she won the Ballon d’Or in 2018 after hosting Martin Solveig asked him to twerk on stage. He later apologized after being accused of sexism.
The Denmark captain is the most expensive female footballer in the world after Chelsea reportedly paid £250,000 to German club Wolfsburg to sign her in 2020.
Denmark finished runners-up at Euro 2017 and will be aiming for another successful run this year, with Harder once again leading their efforts.
The 29-year-old has won the league title every season since 2016 – with Swedish side Linkoping, Wolfsburg and Chelsea – and will now be looking to win her first international trophy.
Harder is in a relationship with his Chelsea team-mate and Sweden international Magdalena Eriksson, with the pair pledging 1% of their wages to the Common Goal project to help address social issues.
The Dutch striker was one of the stars of the final Euros in 2017, scoring twice in the final as the Netherlands – then led by current England boss Sarina Wiegman – lifted the trophy on home soil.
As well as being her country’s all-time leading goalscorer, the Arsenal star is also England’s Women’s Super League record holder with 74 goals.
She scored 14 league goals for the Gunners last season, after which she ended uncertainty over her future by signing a new contract with the north London club.
The Liverpool midfielder is the most prominent figure in the Northern Ireland women’s side, making history as they make their major tournament debut.
Furness helped his national team secure their place in the Euros with a play-off victory against Ukraine in April last year.
The 34-year-old then became her country’s top scorer with 38 goals in a win against North Macedonia in November.
She was subsequently named the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year in Northern Ireland.
The striker was one of the most sought-after signings in women’s football recently when her contract with Swedish club BK Hacken came to an end.
She decided to move to Arsenal in January and settled into the North London side perfectly, forming a partnership with Vivianne Miedema.
Technically gifted, the superb timing of her runs allows her to sneak past the defense at the right time.
Blackstenius was an integral part of Sweden’s silver-medal exploits at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 and will hope to spearhead another drive on the international stage for the team, which is ranked second in the world.
Marie Antoinette Katoto
The French striker is being tipped by many for the Golden Boot at the Euros after scoring more than 20 goals in each of the last five consecutive seasons for his club Paris St Germain.
If France are to have a solid tournament, a lot will depend on the form of the 23-year-old, who is a product of PSG’s academy.
The France squad have been in turmoil with star player Amandine Henry – who scored for Lyon in their Champions League final victory over Barcelona – not going to the Euros after a falling out with the trainer Corinne Deacon.
PSG player Kheira Hamraoui is also missing from the squad after being involved in a horrific incident when she was attacked by two masked men and repeatedly hit with an iron bar.
Hamraoui’s teammate, French midfielder Aminata Diallo, was arrested in connection with the attack but released without charge a day later.
Voted German Player of the Year last year, Lea Schuller has the best international record of any member of her squad.
The Bayern Munich striker has scored 16 goals in 22 games this season – and has 25 goals in 38 games for Germany.
Germany have won eight of the last 10 European Championships and will want to make sure their quarter-final exit in 2017 was just a stunt.