The Young Ballers Lighting Up Euro 2022

The Young Ballers Lighting Up Euro 2022

Age is nothing but a number and these players prove it.

July 11th 2022

The biggest tournament in women's football history, UEFA Euro 2022, kicked off last week and some of the game's brightest young stars have already been shining for the world to see.

Hosted on home soil, England’s Lionesses go into the competition as one of the favourites to bag the coveted title of European Champions. The 2009 finalists are stacked with world-class talent in the form of Lucy Bronze, Fran Kirby and Leah Williamson, but they’re also a side that boasts some of the greatest young talent in the game - soon-to-be Ballon d’Or winner Lauren Hemp being a prime example.

This tournament has already seen the likes of eight-time Champions League winner Wendie Renard go head-to-head with Seri A icon Cristiana Girelli, but the competition has also given us clinics from Iceland's Sveindis Jonsdottir and France's Marie-Antoinette Katoto.

From Austria's Laura Wienroither to Switzerland's Svenja Fölmli, these jugadoras have it all. Pace, technic and a hunger to be the very best in the game. So it was only right the VERSUS team sat down and handed them their flowers to mark the pinnacle of their international footballing careers to date.

Picks made by Alec Wolff-Reed, Amie Cripps and Jacob Davey

1. Laura Wienroither

Country: Austria
Age: 23
Position: Centre/Right-back

They say patience is a virtue, and Laura Wienrother’s time is now. From Hoffenheim to Holloway, she is looking to break through and shine this summer. Making her national team debut in 2019, the versatile defender will be dropping defensive masterclasses down the right, showcasing what’s to come. Light work. Donning the No.12, there’s no doubt she’ll be playing 1-2s and showing her technical ability at both ends of the pitch. Keep an eye on Arsenal’s Austrian this summer.

2. Amber Tysiak

Country: Belgium
Age: 22
Position: Centre-back

 

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Introducing Amber Tysiak. Don’t know? You will do by the end of the month. Only 22, she’s dropping serious performances and will have her sights set on making history this summer. Taking Belgium to a new era. Despite being a defender by trade, she’s no stranger to the scoresheet, bagging a brace against Luxembourg just last week. Complete package. Facing the ice-cold Icelandics in Manchester this Sunday, Tysiak and the Red Flames will be looking to heat things up.

3. Kathrine Kühl

Country: Denmark
Age: 18
Position: Forward

Katherine Kühl is on the come-up, but is already making waves in the women’s game. Top-flight football? Major trophy? International caps? Completed it. No problem for the 18-year-old. This summer means business for Denmark. Hoping to hop from runners-up to running the game, this jugadora might just be the difference. If you need a winner, drop her a call. Kühl, calm and collected in front of goal. This summer could secure her a career’s worth of accolades. Dane and dusted.

4. Lauren Hemp

Country: England
Age: 21
Position: Forward

 

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Hey Siri, define: ‘next-up’. Lauren Hemp is your answer. The 22-year-old baller has already shown the world what she’s made of. Swapping Norfolk for the North-West, she’s currently dropping clinics at Manchester City. Making history on and off the pitch, she secured her record fourth PFA Women’s YPOTY award at the end of the 21/22 season. Serial winner. ‘Talent’ doesn’t even scratch the surface for Hemp, and this summer could see her secure serious acclaim. Direct. Dynamic. Dangerous. That’s what the Three Lionesses’ opponents will gauge from this girl. Scary hours pending.

5. Elli Pikkujämsä

Country: Finland
Age: 22
Position: Defender

 

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Pikkujämsä grew up wanting to be a pro-snowboarder and has a 2016 Youth Olympic Silver medal to her name, but football is where she found her true calling and hasn’t looked back since. Known for being the happiest country in the world, the whole of Finland smiles when Pikkujämsä is propping up the backline. Both-footed, her short and long passes cut through the opposition with ease. For a country famous for saunas, EP2 brings the heat every time she steps onto the pitch.

6. Marie-Antoinette Katoto

Country: France
Age: 23
Position: Forward

Marie-Antoinette Katoto might have missed out 2019’s Women’s World Cup, but this striker will be nailed down for France’s Starting XI for the Euros. MAK has scored 46 goals in 44 games for club and country this season alone. She’s been putting the G in PSG since 2015 and is now the club’s all-time women’s top goal scorer. This clinician won’t only be looking to bag the Golden Boot this month, but will be hoping to help Les Blues win their first European Championship. If anyone can return France to international notoriety it’s MAK.

7. Jule Brand

Country: Germany
Age: 19
Position: Forward

 

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Jule Brand’s ranking amongst the best young ballers in the game is better than it’s ever been right now. Not only one of the biggest ballers out of Germany but the entire globe, the 19-year-old is ready to boom on the world stage at her first major international tournament. Having already given Arsenal fans nightmares earlier this year in the UWCL, Brand is blessed with power and panache in equal measure – making her a sure fire selection for a one to watch this Euros.

8. Sveindís Jane Jónsdóttir

Country: Iceland
Age: 21
Position: Forward

After becoming her country’s joint top-scorer at the age of 19, young Icelandic baller Sveindís Jane Jónsdóttir has continued to impress. She was since voted POTY, made her international debut and signed for UWCL legends Wolfsburg. Not only blessed with clear attacking threat due to her blistering pace, athleticism and ice-cold finishing, Jónsdóttir also has an insane long-throw up her sleeves. If there’s anyone who is going to launch Iceland into the knockout stages, it’ll be Sveindís Jane Jónsdóttir.

9. Agnese Bonfantini

Country: Italy
Age: 23
Position: Winger

 

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Agnese Bonfantini won’t be taking it easy on full-backs this Euros. Coming from a family of volleyball players, Bonfantini will be looking to serve up a different sort of assist for her country this summer. If Italy head into the home stretch of Euro 2022, you can expect to see their next-in-line rising it up on the right-wing for The Azzure. The 23-year-old might have always dreamed of playing for her country in a big tournament, but she’ll be giving defenders nightmares throughout July if given the opportunity to shine.

10. Victoria Pelova

Country: The Netherlands
Age: 23
Position: Midfielder

 

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The Netherlands are blessed with a barrage of ballers in attack, but if they’re looking for calmness and composure in the final third, expect Victoria Pelova to offer ice cold finesse in front of goal. While she might not have the same superstar status as Miedema or Roord, Pelova offers the sort of clinical precision primed for big moments on the biggest on stages.

11. Joely Andrews

Country: Northern Ireland
Age: 20
Position: Midfielder

 

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Northern Ireland’s World Cup qualification hopes might have come to an end earlier this year, but Joely Andrews made sure she left with something. Scoring against Austria and impressing against the Lionesses, Andrews is ready to put her name up in lights once again this month. Studying Psychology at Ulster University, The Glentoran midfielder has an elite mentality for someone who only recently turned 20 and made her full competitive debut this year.

12. Frida Maanum

Country: Norway
Age: 22
Position: Midfielder

 

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This midfield marshall scored the winning goal against Wales to qualify Norway for Euros 2022. Heavy is the head that wears the crown but this Norse queen only knows how to raise Hel. The Arsenal player will be gunning for glory this month

13. Francisca ‘Kika’ Nazareth

Country: Portugal
Age: 19
Position: Forward

 

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Kika Nazareth might have made her senior debut for Portugal in 2020 but 2022 is the year she’s going to breakthrough on the international stage. The 19-year-old grew up watching her childhood club Benfica and has gone on to win two league titles in the last. The first women’s player to be represented by Jorge Mendes this forward is catapulting the women’s game in the new direction.

14. Clàudia Pina

Country: Spain
Age: 19
Position: Forward

 

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Most people will be keeping a close eye on Spain’s Alexia Putellas this month, but real ones know Clàudia Pina is the player who’s going to cause some damage. This La Roja rock ‘n’ roller will turn bulldozer when she’s up against defenders. At 20, Pina has already bagged six domestic titles with Barça, as well as being crowned UEFA Euro’s U17 champion back in 2018. Whether it’s scoring from the penalty spot or halfway line, Pina knows how to get on the scoresheet.

15. Hanna Bennison

Country: Sweden
Age: 19
Position: Midfielder

 

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Despite only being 19-years-old Hanna Bennison is already one of the tekkiest midfielders in the game. Her long range and pinpoint passing has made her one of the most exciting midfielders in the game. The teenager teknician made her senior international debut for Sweden at just 17, a year later she brokered a six-figure transfer deal with Everton. A hefty price tag to some but Bennison will show the world how much bang you get for your buck with this baller.

16. Svenja Fölmli

Country: Switzerland
Age: 19
Position: Forward

 

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Switzerland might be famous for watches but Fölmli reminds the world that talent is timeless the way she attacks the game. In 56 games for FC Luzern Frauen she clocked up 29 goals. SF17’s goal scoring clinics saw her make her Swiss senior debut at just 17. Linking up with seasoned vet Ramona Bachmann could provide one of the deadliest striking duos this tournament has ever seen.

Tickets to this month’s UEFA Women’s Euros are still available to purchase here.