A historic UEFA Women’s Champions League season ends with holders Barcelona taking on Lyon for the title in Turin.
Read our full guide to one of, if not the, most anticipated women’s club fixture there has ever been.
Final tour: key info
When and where is the game?
The final is at 19:00 CET on Saturday 21 May at Juventus Stadium, Turin; only the second time the trophy will have been lifted in Italy after Lyon beat Wolfsburg on penalties in Reggio Emilia in 2016.
Sum up the final in a couple of sentences?
Lyon dominated the 2010s in this competition, reaching nine finals between 2009/10 and 2019/20, winning seven of them, including a stunning 4-1 defeat of Barcelona in 2019, the fourth of five titles in a row. But in the years since OL have been caught, and indeed Barcelona are now the team to beat, underlined by their 4-0 win against Chelsea in the 2021 final: against Lyon in Budapest the Blaugrana had been four down at half-time; versus the London side in Gothenburg they led by that score at the interval.
How can I watch?
Every game in this season’s new-look UEFA Women’s Champions League from the group stage onwards has been broadcast live on streaming platform DAZN, together with YouTube. The YouTube stream will also be embedded in the UEFA.com MatchCentre and on UEFA.tv, with highlights to follow at midnight CET after the game.
Or you can be there in person: buy tickets now.
What was historic about this season?
For the first time, there was a home and away group stage, with the new DAZN / YouTube TV deal ensuring worldwide broadcast coverage throughout the competition. With more nations allocated two entries and some getting three, a record 72 clubs took part. And fans took to the new format with the aggregate attendance for the season passing 500,000 after the semi-final second legs.
Is there VAR in the final?
There has been VAR in the final since 2020, though for this season that was expanded to the whole knockout phase.
• Beat Chelsea 4-0 in the 2021 final in Gothenburg for Spain’s first title, having lost 4-1 to Lyon in Budapest in 2019. Currently second in the UEFA rankings behind Lyon and could overtake them for the first time next season.
• Record seven-time winners in 2011, 2012, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Are in their tenth final, in the space of 13 seasons. Set to end their fourth straight season top of the rankings.
• Spain had never had a finalist before Barcelona got there in 2019. Thanks in no small part to the Blaugrana, Spain vies with England for third place in the UEFA association ranking, which carries an automatic group stage place for the national champions.
Lyon’s record-breaking dominance means France are now within two of Germany’s record tally of nine titles, which once seemed unassailable. Aided also by Paris Saint-Germain’s consistency, France has led the association ranking since 2018/19.
Meet the finalists
Road to Turin
• Won nine in a row before their 2-0 second-leg semi-final loss at Wolfsburg, scoring 37 goals and conceding eight, even including that reverse. Attracted two record-breaking 90,000+ home crowds at Camp Nou in the knockout phase.
• Topped their group but did lose away to Bayern. Had to overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit to get past Juventus in the quarter-finals but then knocked out the side that ended their five-year reign last season, Paris.
• Hard to pick one but left-sided striker Alexia Putellas, winner of all major awards in 2021 including UEFA’s, stands out, and indeed is competition top scorer this season on ten.
• As full of talent as ever but the return of all-time UEFA women’s club competition top scorer Ada Hegerberg from serious injury has restored some of the old zest that ensured they dominated the 2010s.
• With Alexia, Jenni Hermoso, Aitana Bonmatí, Caroline Graham Hansen and co dominating up front, there is still a need for a holding player, and for Sergio Busquets read Patri Guijarro, whose game has been compared to and indeed is partly modelled on her male counterpart.
Damaris Egurrola has proved a vital cog in a new-look Lyon midfield since her arrival last summer.
• Mapi León is as tough winning the ball as she is elegant on it.
• In the semi-finals Wendie Renard become the first player to 100 appearances in this competition, all with Lyon, and is all set for an unprecedented tenth final and, she hopes, eighth title.
• Even a team like Barcelona need a top-class goalkeeper and they have one in the rarely-beaten Spain No1 Sandra Paños.
• In signing Christiane Endler from Paris, Lyon acquired a keeper considered by many the world best, with the daunting prospect of being Sarah Bouhaddi’s long-term replacement.
• Jonatan Giráldez, he former assistant to Lluís Cortés, replaced the UEFA Women’s Champions League-winning coach in the summer and has kept Barcelona’s stellar run going without missing a step.
• A Lyon great as a player, Sonia Bompastor coached at the academy from 2013 until last April, when she took over the first team near the end of a rare trophyless season.