Preview: 2013/14 UEFA Women’s Champions League – Final
Tonight at 20.30 (CET) in Lisbon the 2013/14 UEFA Women’s Champions League Final will be played between Tyresö FF (Sweden) and VfL Wolfsburg (Germany).
The Competion has showed, as usual, the supremacy of German, French, English and Swedish teams, but this year FC Barcelona’s performance (Quarter Finals) showed that also Spain is growing fast in female football.
For the first time in four years we won’t have a French/German Final because Olimpique Lyonnaise (Champion in 2010/11 and 2011/12, Finalist in 2009/2010 and 2012/2013) was defeated in Round of 16 by 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam in a very tight tie, while, after playing 6 Finals in 7 Editions from 2001/2002 and 2007/2008, we’ll have again a Swedish Finalist after a 5-year absence.
Unlike UEFA Men’s Champions League, in Women’s one the Group Stage is considered a Qualyfing Round, so the strongest teams begin their adventure in the Knock-out Stage, in the Round of 32, where we still can find few embarassing results on aggregate, such as CSHVSM-Kairat (KAZ) – Arsenal FC (ENG) 2-18, MTK (HUN) – 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam (GER) 0-11 and Pärnu JK (EST) – VfL Wolfsburg 0-27, because in female football there are bigger gaps than in the male one.
They key ties in this year competiton have been (results on aggregate):
ROUND OF 32
Tyresö FF (SWE) – PSG (FRA) 2-1
ROUND OF 16
1. FFC Turbine Potsdam (GER) – OL (FRA) 2-2 (Potsdam won on away goals)
LdB FC Malmö (SWE) – VfL Wolfsburg (GER) 2-5
Arsenal LFC (ENG) – Birmingham City LFC (ENG) 0-3
VfL Wolfsburg (GER) – FC Barcelona (SPA) 5-0
Tyresö FF (SWE) - Birmingham City LFC (ENG) 3-0
1. FFC Turbine Potsdam (GER) – VfL Wolfsburg (GER) 2-4
The matches 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam (GER) – OL (FRA) and 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam (GER) – VfL Wolfsburg (GER) could have been potential Finals.
TYRESO FF – VfL WOLFSBURG
Estádio do Restelo, Lisbon.
It should be a very balanced match between two strong teams that were among the few big favorites.
The Swedish team is in very serious financial troubles: that could distract the players, but could also make them react and give them even more motivations to win.
VfL Wolfsburg is an emerging Club in German female football, that is usually dominated by 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam and 1. FFC Frankfurt, but last Season it won its first Bundesliga, its first DFB Pokal (German Cup) and its first UEFA Women’s Champions League, thus completing a prestigious treble.
This Season they’re closely contesting for the Title with the aforementioned rivals, while they slighly lost 1-0 to 1. FFC Frankfurt in the Round of 16 of DFB Pokal.
The most important players are the goalkeeper Almuth Schult (23, German International), the defenders Nilla Fischer (29, Swedish International), Josephine Henning (23, German International), Verena Faißt (25, German Internation, she will have her birthday on the Day of the Final), the midfielders Lena Goeßling (28, German International), Nadine Keßler (26, Captain, German International), Lina Magull (20), and the strikers Martina Müller (34, German International), Alexandra Popp (23, German International) and Conny Pohlers (35, German International).
Tyresö Fotbollsförening would be an emerging team in Swedish female football, because they have played in top tier since 2010 and have won their first and only Championship in 2012 and have been runner-up once in 2013 and the losing Finalist in Svenska Cupen twice (2011 and 2012), unless they were in very serious financial troubles in 2014 that have led the club near to bankruptcy and will make several key players leave in June, after the Champions League Final: moreover next Season the team will probably be relegated to third tier.
Anyway Tyresö FF should be able to field its best players in the Final: the star of the team is doubtless the forward Marta (28, Brazilian International) who is one of the best, maybe the best, female footballer ever, having been “FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year” for five years in a row from 2006 to 2010, and moreover she collected three second places and two third places as well. According to rumors she earns about $400,000 per season, paid by external sponsors.
But this Swedish team is like Real Madrid CF in male football, because is full of stars, such as the other Brazilian Internationals Fabiana (24, defender), Rilany (27, defender) and Thaisa (25, midfielder) and the American Internationals Whitney Engen (26, defender) and Meghan Klingenberg(25, defender) and Christen Press (25, striker).
Obviously there are also few members callled by the strong Swedish National Team, such as Carola Söberg (31, goalkeeper), Linda Sembrant (27, defender), Lisa Dahlkvist (27, midfielder), and the captain Caroline Seger (29, midfielder), and, moreover, a Danish International, Line Røddik Hansen (26, defender), and a Spanish one, Verónica Boquete (27, striker).