Originally set for the summer of 2021, the 13th rendition of the Women's European Championships was tabled for a year in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent rescheduling of multiple international competitions. Set to kick off on July 6th at Old Trafford in Manchester, Euro 2022 features 16 of Europe's best squads cast into four groups of four, with the winners and runners up from each group advancing to the knockout rounds, vying for a spot in the finals on July 22nd at historic Wembley Stadium.
After breezing through the qualification rounds with an 8-1-1 record and an astounding +32 goal differential, Milena Bertolini's Azzurre squad look poised to build off their surprising run to the quarterfinals of World Cup 2019. And early today, Italy finally learned who they'll be facing in the group stages next summer.
⚠️ The groups for next summer's Women's EURO have been drawn!— UEFA Women's EURO 2022 (@UEFAWomensEURO) October 28, 2021
Which matches are you excited for? #WEURO2022
While there isn't one particular group of death, 14th-ranked Italy is joined in Group D by 5th-ranked France, 16th-ranked Iceland, and 19th-ranked Belgium, making this the only group in Euro 2022 in which all four nations are currently ranked in FIFA's Top 20. Sweden, in Group C, is the highest-ranked European team at the moment, trailing only the United States in the top 20 rankings.
With as many as nine players being sent to Italy's recent friendlies and World Cup qualifiers, Roma should be well-represented in England next summer, with players like club captain Elisa Bartoli, defensive dynamo Elena Linari and winger Annamaria Serturini trading the red and yellow of Roma for Azzurre blue.
We'll take a deeper look at Italy's group mates prior to next summer's kickoff but based on the progress they've made over the past two years, Bertolini's side should be considered a darkhorse candidate to win the whole thing. With plenty of scoring punch up top, speed on the wings, and a rock-solid defense, if they get hot, they could easily make a run to Wembley next July.
Italy's quest for European glory will commence on July 10, 2022, against France at New York Stadium in Rotherham, just outside of Sheffield, England.