Who is Emma Hayes? The ITV football pundit who manages Chelsea Women FC - and if she’s calling Euro 2020 final

The Chelsea Women manager has appeared in ITV’s pundit team throughout Euro 2020, including the England v Denmark semi-final, with stellar commentary that has earned her many new fans

Emma Hayes has won a plethora of fans during her stint in the commentary box at Euro 2020.

The Chelsea Women manager has appeared in ITV’s pundit team during the tournament and her expert commentary has earned her widespread praise.

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She joined Ashley Cole, Danish International football star Nadia Nadim and presenter Seema Jaswal for the England v Denmark semi-final, which saw Gareth Southgate’s side win 2-1 to progress to their first major final since the 1966 World Cup.

Emma Hayes has appeared in ITV’s pundit team during the Euro 2020 tournament (Getty Images)
Emma Hayes has appeared in ITV’s pundit team during the Euro 2020 tournament (Getty Images)

So, who is Emma Hayes - and will she be calling the Euro 2020 final?

Here’s what you need to know.

Who is Emma Hayes?

Hayes, who has been in women’s football for 20 years, has been a standout TV star during the Euros.

But before her success as a pundit, and with Chelsea, the Londonder was originally a footballer herself.

Hayes, 44, started off playing in Arsenal’s academy as a teenager, but sustained a severe injury to her ankle when she was on a skiing trip aged 17.

Unfortunately, it was a career-ending injury which meant she could no longer pursue a career as a footballer.

Instead, she enrolled at Liverpool Hope College to study European Studies, Spanish and Sociology.

And that wasn’t enough to quench her thirst for education, as she later achieved a Masters degree in Intelligence and International Affairs.

Between 2001 and 2006, Hayes made the move across the pond to coach soccer in the United States, working in Women’s Professional Soccer.

On her return to the UK, she joined Arsenal Women and was a part of the coaching staff that saw the team win a surprise quadruple.

But America eventually called Hayes back, and she left the UK again to manage the Chicago Red Stars.

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When did Emma Hayes join Chelsea Women?

Indeed, it’s her role with Chelsea Women that Hayes is most revered for.

Hayes has managed the team since 2012. In that period, her side has won the Super League four times.

Only last week, she signed a new contract to remain manager of Chelsea, putting an end to rumours that she was on the edge of making a big move to another team.

As well as winning the multiple Women’s Super League titles, under her management the team has triumphed in two Women’s FA Cups and two Women’s League Cups.

And just last season, Hayes led Chelsea to the Champions League final against Barcelona - becoming the first woman to do so in 12 years.

Her achievements have not gone unnoticed, and she won the FA WSL Manager of the Year award for 2020/21.

Does Emma Hayes have children?

The star pundit has a son, Harry, who turned three after Chelsea’s clash with Barcelona in May.

Hayes announced she was pregnant in December 2017, but tragically she lost one of her twin babies.

Speaking to Sky News about losing her child, she said it would “live with me forever”.

"I knew I had an unhealthy child, mainly after about the 20th week, so I knew I was battling against it. I did that privately because I think it's important that the team don't deal with that burden - that's my responsibility,” she said.

"But I'm grateful for everything I've got and I think that's part of my working-class background.

"I've always been like that but, even more so now, I value life as a result of it, and losing a child maybe five weeks from giving birth will live with me forever."

Who are the pundits for the England v Italy Euro 2020 final?

Many of Hayes’ fans are hoping she makes a return to ITV’s pundit team for the Euro 2020 final when England and Italy go head-to-head.

On ITV, the coverage will be fronted by Mark Pougatch, while Sam Matterface and Lee Dixon will commentate. The pundits are yet to be confirmed, but there is speculation that Gary Neville, Roy Keane or Ian Wright will be included.

Meanwhile, on the BBC, Gary Lineker will present, alongside Alan Shearer, Rio Ferdinand and Jurgen Klinsmann. The commentators are also still to be announced, but it could be Guy Mowbray and Jermaine Jenas.

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