Spain forward Jenni Hermoso has been ruled out of Euro 2022 this summer after suffering a knee injury, which comes as a major blow to La Roja’s hopes of winning a first international trophy.
The Barcelona star is already her country’s all-time leading goalscorer and has just finished the 2021/22 club season with another 23 goals in all competitions to her name.
But Spain’s medical staff have confirmed that Hermoso has sprained a ligament in her right knee, forcing her to withdraw from training camp. She will play no part in upcoming warm-up friendlies against Australia and Italy, nor will she recover in time for Euro 2022 next month.
Real Madrid forward Claudia Zornoza has been called into the squad as a replacement.
Hermoso made her senior international debut in 2011 and has been to two World Cups and two European Championship to date – Euro 2022 would have been her fifth major tournament.
At club level, she has had two prolific spells with Barcelona, as well as turning out for Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid among others.
Hermoso’s rise as one of the world’s best strikers has coincided with Spain’s international improvement over the last decade. Prior to 2013, La Roja had only been to one major tournament – the 1997 European Championship – but they have become a regular fixture more recently.
Alongside Hermoso, Spain boast a talented squad flush with Barcelona players like Aitana Bonmati, Patri Guijarro, Mapi Leon, Sandra Panos and 2021 Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas.
Barcelona’s rise to prominence in the women’s club game has led Spain to become the fashionable choice among neutrals and heavily fancied at Euro 2022, to the point where they are joint favourites with most bookmakers. But they lack experience at this level, as well as squad depth beyond a strong starting XI, while Hermoso’s sudden enforced absence will also now hurt their chances.
Spain’s first game at Euro 2022 is against Finland on 8 July in Milton Keynes.