Megan Rapinoe thinks England will be among the contenders to win UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 but believes Spain are the outright favourites.
Sarina Wiegman’s England side have enjoyed a successful 2021, scoring 53 goals in six games and not conceding since the Dutchwoman took over as head coach in September, while Ellen White recently surpassed Kelly Smith’s goalscoring record.
Wiegman, 52, guided the Netherlands to the Women’s Euros title in 2017 and will be aiming to repeat that feat with England next summer.
But the Lionesses will face stern competition at their home Euros from Spain who will be boosted by many players from in-form Champions League holders and Primera Division leaders Barcelona.
Rapinoe picked out fellow Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas as someone who could shine at Euro 2022, while Putellas’ team-mates and nominees for this year’s accolade, Jennifer Hermoso, Irene Paredes and Sandra Panos, could also feature prominently for Spain.
Offering her early predictions for next summer’s tournament on the 90min Football Americana podcast, two-time World Cup winner Rapinoe said: “England, [are] always right in there, obviously the Super League they’re starting to get way more internationals.
“And I think that that league is becoming a little bit more transitional, a little bit more higher paced, which I think they need.
“I think the sort of standard-bearer would be the Barcelona team right now. But I think there’s still, when you get to the national team level, I think it’s still a little bit to be decided. The World Cup 2023 is going to be bonkers.
“I think that they [Spain] are right there. You always need that just kind of like juice, or that momentum, or that confidence, or something. And I just feel like they’re in a good place.
“French team, I know a lot of the players have been not called in, or called in and had some issues with the coach and all that, so France always is one of my favourite teams. So I feel like they’re a little disoriented right now.
“So yeah, I feel like Spain – they’re just so much fun to watch. I feel like sometimes through the team that like starts to put on the show, you just get that kind of vibe. And obviously, you got the Ballon d’Or winner [Alexia Putellas], [a] lot to handle there.”