Teamwork makes the dream work

Lyon boss on Champions League last: We’re greatest group in world

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Lyon head coach Sonia Bompastor mentioned her aspect is the “greatest group on the planet” as they put together to face reigning champions Barcelona within the Champions League finals in Bilbao on Saturday.

The eight-time winners of the competitors have an indomitable historical past within the competitors, coming into their eleventh Champions League last since 2010.

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The 2 sides have met twice in Champions League finals, each ending in victory for Lyon.

In 2019, Lyon defeated the Catalans 4-1 and strode to a snug 3-1 victory within the 2022 last in Turin — the final time Lyon gained the competitors.

“We’re a group that has gained loads up to now,” Bompastor instructed a information convention in Bilbao on Friday.

“However we stay actually bold. For me we’re one of the best group on the planet and can proceed to be it doesn’t matter what occurs tomorrow.

“This Barça is completely different from the one we confronted within the last two years in the past. They’ve made new signings and every last brings with it a distinct story. Will probably be a very completely different recreation tomorrow.”

Barçelona have by no means defeated Lyon within the competitors earlier than, however Jonatan Giráldez’s aspect have made the ultimate for the previous three consecutive seasons, profitable two of the instalments in opposition to Chelsea (2021) after which Wolfsburg (2023).

Lyon did not make it previous the quarterfinals final time period, falling quick in opposition to Chelsea, who had been then defeated by Barçelona within the semifinal.

“Barçelona have actually advanced. They’ve world-class gamers, they usually prefer to dominate. However now we have our personal strengths, we all know our qualities, and now we have advanced collectively over many seasons,” Lyon captain Wendie Renard mentioned.

“We all know our opponents very properly and we’re prepared to present all the things, although will probably be troublesome. Within the final 10 years now we have proven that now we have a terrific group and numerous dedication. Profitable as many titles as doable is what motivates us on daily basis.”

Bompastor wouldn’t verify whether or not talismanic striker Ada Hegerberg is match sufficient to begin.

“She might be obtainable tomorrow. Her expertise is invaluable, and with the precise mentality, something is feasible for Ada,” she mentioned. Bompastor confirmed that the 28-year-old is again in full coaching and desires to begin.

The Norway worldwide has gained the competitors with Lyon six instances and is likely one of the aspect’s most difficult and dynamic threats.

The inaugural ladies’s Ballon d’Or winner signed a brand new deal to stay with the membership till 2027 however has been absent from the fold not too long ago after struggling an harm.

Giráldez thinks the season has helped his group put together for this second.

“I agree each groups have advanced, now we have completely different gamers, our construction can also be completely different,” he mentioned in his information convention. “I see a recreation the place we have to dominate for 90 minutes. In fact, there will probably be small variations to bear in mind Lyon’s qualities. All issues we have been engaged on in the course of the season have ready us very properly.

“What now we have to do tomorrow is show that we wish to be one of the best group in Europe. That’s the ambition.”

Barcelona midfielder Aitana Bonmatí harassed the significance of defending early on within the last.

“I feel that have is essential however I additionally know if we do not let in objectives within the first minute it is a lot better,” she mentioned. “Though now we have a really huge group in entrance of us, we’re assured and desirous about victory and that is one thing that is actually improved within the final years.

“Tomorrow we begin 0-0. As coach mentioned we’re the 2 greatest groups on the planet.”

Each groups have added incentives this time round as each managers are set to go away their respective golf equipment.

Giráldez will depart Barçelona on the finish of the season to turn out to be the brand new head coach of NWSL aspect Washington Spirit and are aiming to say the quadruple in his last season.

Bompastor is about to be introduced as the brand new Chelsea head coach subsequent week after Emma Hayes departed the Girls’s Tremendous League membership to turn out to be the United States ladies’s nationwide group head coach.

Sam Marsden contributed to this report.