79. Verena Aschauer
When left back Verena Aschauer turned 23 in January, most casual women’s football fans probably wouldn’t have heard of the SC Sand players and Austria international.
But a European Championship campaign which saw Austria show themselves as one of the most defensively solid sides at the tournament, coupled with a run to the semi-finals, left few in doubt about how talented the young defender is.
Aschauer started every match for Dominik Thalhammer’s side in the Netherlands, either at left back or left wing back, scoring in the penalty shootout against Spain.
Unfortunately for Aschauer, she couldn’t replicate the act in the semi-final against Denmark as Austria missed out on the Euro 2017 final.
Dominik Thalhammer, Austria national team manager says:
“Verena is a very dynamic force on the left line, she has great passing skills and an outstanding left foot. She is as good at the offensive end of the pitch as she is in defence and was named best left full-back of the Euro’s for a reason.
Sophie Lawson, European women’s football writer says:
“Verena Aschauer as quietly gone about becoming one of the best left-backs in Europe, a stand-out summer enough to see her named in the Euro 2017 team of the tournament. A tireless worker, Aschauer does all that is asked of her, running up and down the left flank throughout the 90 minutes to push her team on in attack before racing back to provide much needed cover and take few prisoners with her determined defending.