Hegemony! Lyon beat mighty Barcelona to become eighth European women’s football champion
One of the competition’s stars was a Brazilian naturalized American.
Lyon defeated Barcelona to win the UEFA Women’s Champions League for the eighth time in their history. The French players ignored the Spanish players’ partiality, who had been smashing attendance records throughout the competition.
On May 21, the big game was played, and Lyon won the match 3-1. The match took place in Turin, Italy, at the Juventus Stadium. It is important to note that Lyon are by far the most successful side in the competition’s history. They boast four triumphs ahead of Frankfurt, the second-largest champions, with their eighth title, “Les Gones”.
The competition lasted from August 17, 2021, to May 21, 2022. To win the long-awaited eighth championship, Lyon had to beat traditional European football teams. Take a look at how the French campaign went down below.
- Levante/ESP 1-2 Lyon (preliminary phase);
- Lyon 2-1 Levante/ESP (preliminary phase);
- Hacken/SUE 0-3 Lyon (group stage);
- Lyon 5-0 Benfica/POR (group stage);
- Lyon 2-1 Bayern Munich/ALE (group stage);
- Bayern Munich/ALE 1-0 Lyon (group stage);
- Benfica/POR 0-5 Lyon (group stage);
- Lyon 4-0 Hacken/SUE) (group stage);
- Juventus/ITA 2-1 Lyon (quarter-finals);
- Lyon 3-1 Juventus/ITA (quarter-finals);
- Lyon 3-2 PSG/FRA (semi-final);
- PSG/FRA 1-2 Lyon (semi-final);
- Lyon 3-1 Barcelona/ESP (final).
Lyon star preferred the USA to the Brazilian team
Catarina Macário, a forward for Lyon, is a key player. The Brazilian, who was born in Sao Luis, Maranho, is only 22 years old but has already made a significant contribution to Lyon. To give you an indication, she scored nine goals in 13 tournament matches and finished third in the artillery rating – Putellas, from Barcelona, was first (11 goals).
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She would theoretically be the sole holder of the Brazilian team. But there’s a catch: she chose to become an American citizen and now defends the US team. She travelled to the North American country at the age of 12 to study and become a professional athlete, and as a result, she developed bonds with the new country which she wanted to defend when she turned professional.
Catarina Macário even competed in the Tokyo Olympics with the United States soccer team last year. She contributed to her teammates’ third-place finish (bronze medal) in the competition, which Canada won.
Lyon coach goes down in history
With the Lyon victory, French coach Sonia Bompastor made history as the first professional to win the competition as both an athlete and a coach.
The 41-year-old professional was a midfielder who represented Lyon as a player from 2006 to 2009 and again from 2010 to 2013. As a result, she took part in the title campaigns in 2011 and 2012. She became the only person in history to win the event in both positions when she won the 2022 championship as a coach.
The Lyon titles
Lyon have won the UEFA Women’s Champions League eight times, making them the most successful team in the competition’s history. In 2011, 2012, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2022, they were champions.
Only seven other clubs have won the most important women’s tournament in European football, which began in 2002: Frankfurt (2002, 2006, 2008, and 2015), Umea (2003 and 2004), Wolfsburg (2013 and 2014), Turbine Potsdam (2005 and 2010), Barcelona (2021), Arsenal (2007), Duisburg (2002, 2006, 2008, and 2015), and Wolfsburg (2009, 2013 and 2014).
The final will be held at Philips Stadion (PSV stadium) in Eindhoven, Netherlands for the 2023 edition. For the 2024 edition, San Mamés (Athletic Arena) in Bilbao, Spain, will be the venue.