The Game magazine reviews the UEFA Women's Champions League to shed light on the tremendous work done by women and their dominating success in the football field.
The UEFA Women’s Champions League, formerly the UEFA Women’s Cup, is the premier club competition for women’s football in Europe. In recent years the Women’s Champions League has seen significant changes and improvements. The tournament has witnessed a rise in the quality of play, growth in popularity and increased attention from football fans as well as investors. As a result, the league became a celebration of the skill, talent, and dedication of women’s football players in Europe, and it acknowledges the players’ talent, skill, and commitment while fostering the expansion and popularity of women’s sports.
In this article, the remarkable moments in the tournament since 2010 have been reviewed.
2010, First UEFA Women’s Champions League Final in Getafe, Spain
On May 16 2010, the first ever UEFA Women’s Champions League Final was played at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez in Getafe, Spain. The German club Turbine Potsdam faced French Olympique Lyonnais.
During the match, both teams had several chances to score, but strong defensive performances and impressive goalkeeping kept the scoreline goalless. Turbine Potsdam’s goalkeeper, Anna Felicitas Sarholz, made crucial saves to deny Lyon’s attacking threats.
In an epic penalty-shootout, Turbine Postdam managed to convert more penalties, winning 7-6, and secured the first ever UEFA Women’s Champions League trophy.
2011, The Beginning of a Dominant Reign
The Fortunes were reversed one year later, as Lyon beat Potsdam 2-0 for France’s first title. Wendie Renard and substitute Lara Dickenmann scored at Craven Cottage in London, England, which left Turbine Potsdam with no answer.
This victory ushered in an era of dominance by the French team, led by huge women’s fooball advocate Jean-Michel Aulas. The president of Olympique Lyonnais has always stated his great support for the women’s team, provided necessary financial backing and campaigned for changes in the sport and public image.
2014, Wolfsburg Succeeds in an Incredible Comeback
The women’s football team of VfL Wolfsburg became the first German team to defend its UWCL title. In a thrilling Champions League final, coach Ralf Kellermann’s Bundesliga side beat Swedish runners-up Tyresö FF 4-3 in Lisbon.
The newly affluent Swedish team was stacked with superstars, built around the Brazilian football icon “Marta” and were highly regarded as favorites.
But the German team in Green and White prevailed after trailing 2-0 at halftime. A late winner by Martina Müller in the 80. minute set the score to 3-4, to which Tyresö could not find an answer.
2018: Ada Hegerberg becomes Record Top Scorer in a Single UWCL Campaign
The prolific Norwegian striker Ada Hegerberg is widely regarded as one of the best female footballers in history and has been consistently among the top goal scorer in the French league.
In the 2017-2018 season, she set a new record by scoring staggering 15 goals in a single UEFA Women’s Champions League campaign. She managed to tally these goals in just 10 matches, averaging an incredible 1.5 goals per game.
Hegerberg’s exceptional scoring ability leaped Olympique Lyonnais to their third consecutive UWCL title in that season, playing a crucial role in her team’s success and demonstrating her clinical finishing skills and predatory instincts in front of goal.
2021: Historic Attendance at Camp Nou, 91.553 Spectators
In a historic UWCL quarter-final “El Clásico” , one of the biggest attendances in women’s football was recorded by club authorities. 91.553 spectators watched the thrilling knockout match between the fierce rivals.
2022: Olympique Lyon’s Rule Continues
After a heavy reform of the UWCL for the 2021/22 season, the team on top was a familiar one. Olympique Lyonnais won the title for a record 8th time against Barcelona in Turin.
The competition underwent a radical reform, as the television coverage for the clubs and the tournament itself was changed, resulting in a bigger group stage with 16 teams and a significant increase of financial rewards.
During this campaign, captain Wendie Renard also reached the milestone of 100 appearances in the UWCL, which no player has ever reached before. She was a key factor in OL’s dominance of the competition, locking up attackers and creating a rock-solid backline.
2023: Sensational Comeback Victory by Barcelona Femeni against Wolfsburg
In the most recent edition of the UEFA Women’s Champions League, Barcelona Femeni made a spectacular comeback to secure their second UWCL triumph in their history. The intense match was played in the Dutch city of Eindhoven and brought fans excitement from the first minutes of the game.
Wolfsburg and their star striker Alex Popp took a 2-0 lead into the break, following a solid first half with clinical finishing. But the Catalan team and Patricia Guijarro just needed five minutes to equalize and tie the game, thanks to a quick brace by the midfielder. In the 70. minute, Ex-Wölfin Fridolina Rolfö fired Barca into the lead after a costly defensive breakdown of Wolfsburg. The German team could not find a way back into the game, crowning Barcelona as the best European team for the second time.
IMAGO Collections of the UEFA Women’s Champions League:
Image selection by Johannes Häring.