Women's EURO 2022 inside track: Spain
Friday, 8 July 2022
A Spain side built around a strong Barcelona spine provides plenty of optimism for UEFA.com's team reporter Simon Hart.
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Nickname: La Roja
Women's EURO best: Semi-finals (1997)
Women's EURO 2017: Quarter-finals
Why can Spain win Women's EURO 2022?
With a flourishing domestic game, there were high expectations for Spain's national team as this Women's EURO approached – not least for their Barcelona midfield trio of Alexia Putellas, Patri Guijarro and Aitana Bonmati, a trio who complement one another's games so well. Therefore, the 11th-hour loss of Alexia to injury puts a big dent in their ambitions. Can the rest of the squad step up in her absence?
Who are Spain playing and when?
08/07: Spain vs Finland (18:00 CET, Milton Keynes)
12/07: Germany vs Spain (21:00 CET, Brentford)
16/07: Denmark vs Spain (21:00 CET, Brentford)
Who is in Spain's final squad?
Goalkeepers: Sandra Paños (Barcelona), Lola Gallardo (Atlético), Misa Rodríguez (Real Madrid)
Defenders: Laia Aleixandri (Manchester City), Ivana Andrés (Real Madrid), Ona Batlle (Manchester United), Olga Carmona (Real Madrid), Sheila García (Atlético), María León (Barcelona), Leila Ouahabi (Manchester City), Irene Paredes (Barcelona), Andrea Pereira (Barcelona)
Midfielders: Teresa Abelleira (Real Madrid), Aitana Bonmatí (Barcelona), Mariona Caldentey (Barcelona), Irene Guerrero (Levante), Patri Guijarro (Barcelona)
Forwards: Marta Cardona (Real Madrid), Athenea del Castillo (Real Madrid), Esther González (Real Madrid), Lucía García (Athletic Club), Claudia Pina (Barcelona), Amaiur Sarriegi (Real Sociedad)
Who is Spain coach?
Jorge Vilda. Having first gained managerial experience working with Spain's youth set-ups, he took the top job in 2015. His side finished runners-up in the 2020 She Believes Cup.
Who is Spain captain?
Irene Paredes. The Barcelona centre-back wears the armband on the field and in the absence of Alexia Putellas and Jenni Hermoso her leadership qualities will be all the more important. At 31, she is the squad's senior figure and the player whom the others look to for wise counsel.
My favourite Women's EURO memory
Well, it's not a Women's EURO memory but I recall fondly following a young Spain side coached by Jorge Vilda at the Under-17 EURO in 2014 in England. Patri scored in the final against Germany – a 1-1 draw followed by a shoot-out defeat. There were tears that cold December evening in Chesterfield … not quite Wembley on a July night, which is the final goal this summer.
Did you know?
Defender Mapi León is such a tattoo aficionado that she hangs out in a studio in her free time – and does her own tattoos.