USWNT star Megan Rapinoe has tipped Spain in honor of UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 this summer, citing the importance of Barcelona’s latest European dominance at club level, putting La Roja ahead of those like France and hosts England.
Spain have not been beyond the quarter-finals of a major international tournament since 1997 and have been eliminated in the last eight stages of the last two European Championships.
But their development over the last decade has been clear to see and has accelerated considerably in recent years, underpinned by a core of Barcelona players who have had incredible success at the club level. As such, Rapinoe and others expect that they will do well by the summer.
– I definitely think they can [win Euro 2022]”, She told the 90mins Football Americana podcast.
“I think they are there and I think they have similar … you always need that kind of juice, or that momentum, or that confidence or something. And I just feel like they’re in a good place.
“They’s just so much fun to watch. I feel like sometimes through the team that starts putting on the show, you just get that kind of mood. And obviously you’ve got the Ballon d’Or winner [Alexia Putellas]… a lot to deal with there. “
Rapinoe credits Spain for how they play and suggests that few will want to face them. She met them in the last 16 of the 2019 World Cup with the USA, a Spanish team with Putella and seven others from Barcelona’s current squad, and barely won.
“The Spanish team has been coming for four or five years now,” the 36-year-old explained. “Of course Alexia has taken on the Ballon d’Or as the best player this year, so well deserved. I think they really push the boundaries a lot. They are always terribly frustrating to play against.
“It’s like [playing against] the old Japanese teams – you just did not want to play against them. You never had the ball, you could never get it and did not understand where and how all these passes were made … it was just the next level and so frustrating. “
Rapinoe thought it was frustrating to play against Spain at the 2019 World Cup / Robert Cianflone / GettyImages
Rapinoe, having played for Lyon earlier in his career and recently a teammate of Eugenie Le Sommer and Sarah Bouhaddi at the OL Reign, believes France is one of her personal favorite teams, but is worried they may be a little disoriented right now. .
“I know a lot of the players have not been called in, or called in and had problems with the coach and all that, I feel a little disoriented right now,” the American explained.
“I feel like 2019, they just had an incredible team and I feel like they did not maximize their squad. The fact that as Eugenie played on the left wing was just a gift from God to the rest of the World Cup team. I thought, it’s just crazy. ”
As for England, Rapinoe praised the improved and changing quality of WSL.
“England, always in there,” she said. “Obvious, [with] In the Super League, they start to get a lot more international matches. And I think that league will be a little more transient, a little higher tempo, which I think they need.
“I think the flag bearer would be the Barcelona team right now. But I think there is still a bit to decide when you get to the national team level. The 2023 World Cup will be quirky.”
Football Americana with former USWNT player Yael Averbuch West is part of the 90-minute family of football podcasts and episodes are available to listen to now.
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