It was difficult for me to get the ball rolling but after months in the lunge, women’s football returns in style. The eight best teams on the continent are already in Euskadi, where From this Friday until August 30, an atypical final phase of the Champions League will be played female. Eight teams, two stadiums and a single desire, raise the Champions to the sky of San Sebastián.
FC Barcelona, Atlético de Madrid, Glasgow City, Wolfsburg, Arsenal, Paris Saint German and Bayern Munich arrive at San Mamés and Anoeta with the intention of end the dynasty of Olympique de Lyon. The French, who emphatically beat Barcelona in the last final (4-1), continue to be the great favorites of the tournament, as of the six editions they have won the last four.
But the women’s football revolution is here to stay and in an edition as unusual as the current one, surprises are guaranteed. Without an audience and a single party, anything can happen, explained the Barcelona goalkeeper Sandra Paños. The Catalans know well that they are a better team than last season and that although they shy away from favoritism, they are close to repeating history again. Lluís Cortés’s men begin their European journey against a depleted Atlético de Madrid (Friday, 6:00 p.m., GOAL).
? TOMORROW!!!! ?
See the schedule as #UWCL IS BACK?
– #UWCL (@UWCL) August 20, 2020
The mattresses, which qualified for the first time in their history for a quarter-final, have had to do juggling to complete the squad list. Silvia Meseguer, Laia Aleixandri, Deyna Castellanos, Charlyn Corran and Leicy Santos have stayed in Madrid after giving positive for COVID-19. But his casualties, already sensitive, are not the only ones. Ludmila Da Silva will not be in front of the Catalan team due to suspension and with her there are already five starters who did not form against Barcelona. In fact, Dani González has completed his call with six to signings and three team players.
But trusting is not part of the culé vocabulary. The azulgrana have repeated ad nauseam that Atlético is a wounded animal that can end up giving the machado. For this reason, all are precautions within a changing room that has traveled with everything to Bilbao. Marta Torrejón and Ana Crnogorcevic have received medical discharge and Lluís Cortés will only have the loss of Andrea Falcón for the three matches that the Barça expedition hopes to play in Basque lands.
– FC Barcelona Women (?) (@FCBfemeni) August 19, 2020
Wolsburg and Lyon, the favorites
The Spanish representative that reaches the semifinals will meet Glasgow or Wolsburg, the German team being another of the serious contenders for the title. His double in the German Cup and League is the main endorsement of a team that arrives with the talent of Pernille Harder as its main weapon.
The opposite side of the table starts with the repetition of Olympique de Lyon – Bayern Munich but with the tables turned. In the women’s competition it is the French women who have the largest numbers to reach the final. They have never lost a quarter in European competition and they cling to the talent of stars like Ada Hegerberg (who is returning from a serious injury), Dzsenifer Marozsan or Eugenie Le Sommer to continue their European idyll. The other two rivals to beat are Paris Saint-Germain of Spain’s Irene Paredes and Arsenal, who need to lift the title to ensure their presence in the next edition of the Champions League.
With or without favoritism, the eight best teams on the continent see the Champions League closer than ever. Three encounters separate them from glory, the one that Barcelona can test for the first time in its history. The Catalans have already tasted the bitterness of a lost final. Now, they travel convinced that their style can mark the end of an era.