Belgium are the eleventh team to announce their 23-player squad for UEFA Women’s Euro 2022. The deadline for the competition is on June 26th, with Belgian Red Flames announcing theirs on the 20th of June, just 8 days before the deadline. However, Ives Serneels is able to make changes if there is a serious injury or illness, so this squad may still change.
Belgium are in a tough group with France, Iceland and Italy, with Italy and Iceland specifically being one that they’ll likely have to fight with for second place. Belgium’s competitive record is non-existent, with their only major tournament being the 2017 Euros, where they finished in third place. So, who are they taking to improve this time?
Goalkeepers: Nicky Evrard, Diede Lemey, Lisa Lichtfus.
Defenders: Davina Philtjens, Amber Tysiak, Laura De Neve, Sari Kees, Laura Deloose, Jody Vangheluwe, Charlotte Tison.
Midfielders: Justine Vanhaevermaet, Marie Minnaert, Julie Biesmans, Feli Delacauw, Kassandra Missipo.
Forwards: Ella Van Kerkhoven, Sarah Wijnants, Tine De Caigny, Tessa Wullaert, Janice Cayman, Hannah Eurlings, Davinia Vanmechelen, Elena Dhont.
WHO TO LOOK OUT FOR?
There are a few good players on this Belgium side, such as Anderlecht striker and Belgium captain Tessa Wullaert, who has been lighting up the Belgian Super League for a while now. This season, she finished as the top scorer with 26 goals in 18 games, more than double of the second-place player with 11. The season before that she was top with 28 goals. Tessa also previously played for Man City and Wolfsburg, but she wasn’t as prolific. However, she is firing for Belgium, with 15 goals and 10 assists in 8 World Cup qualifying games, and in her 106 caps, Wullaert has scored 63 goals, a 0.59 goal per game ratio.
Tine De Caigny is another player who I’ve picked for a similar reason to Tessa Wullaert. The 25-year-old Hoffenheim striker has had a bit of a tougher season, with 7 goal contributions in 21 league games. But, she formed a duo with Tessa at her previous club Anderlecht, scoring 22 goals in 18 games. If Tina and Tessa can form that connection again at Euro 2022, then they could be in with a chance.
Janice Cayman has the most caps out of any current player, and her contributions to the Belgium team shouldn’t be overlooked. In 124 games she has scored 47 goals, a 0.38 goal-to-game ratio. She played 19 times for Lyon this season, with 5 goal contributions. The 33-year-old has played for Belgium since 2007 and has been in the national setup for longer, so as an experienced head, she’ll need to lead the likes of De Caigny and work with Wullaert to make sure they’re calm, even in difficult circumstances.