Both teams in the Women’s Champions League final have something to prove.
Barcelona was eyeing back-to-back titles last year before being upended by Lyon. Two-time champion Wolfsburg has lost the last three times it made it this far. They will meet Saturday at PSV Stadium in the Dutch city of Eindhoven.
It’s the third final in a row for Barcelona and fourth in the past five years. The Catalan club routed Chelsea 4-0 in 2021 to become the first team from Spain to win the title.
“I think we need to appreciate what reaching our fourth final means because the road has not been easy,” Barcelona midfielder Aitana Bonmatí told The Associated Press. “When you look back at the teams we have beaten and everything we have won you have to give it the merit it deserves.” POPP TIME Wolfsburg forward Alexandra Popp led the German league in scoring with 16 goals after helping her national team reach the final of the European Championship. This will be her seventh Champions League final. She was a teenager on Duisburg’s championship team in 2009 before joining Wolfsburg and helping the “She-Wolves” win the trophy in 2013 and 2014.
The 32-year-old Popp has a knack for the big moment. Her 88th-minute goal sent the 2016 final to extra time, though Lyon won on penalties. She netted in a 3-1 loss to the French team in the 2020 decider. Her red card in the 2018 final proved costly in a 4-1 loss — also to Lyon.
Ewa Pajor is the European competition’s leading scorer with eight goals. Wolfsburg had five different scorers in the two legs of its aggregate 5-4 semifinal win over Arsenal.
Two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas is back from her ACL injury, but the Barcelona midfielder has yet to start a game since her return. She came off the bench in each of the last six Spanish league games and scored in Barcelona’s season finale.
Barcelona should also have defender Lucy Bronze and forward Fridolina Rolfö available after both missed time with knee problems.
Bonmatí is a top playmaker — leading the Champions League with seven assists — but she’s also clinical in front of goal. She and teammate Asisat Oshoala have netted five times, which is tied for second-most in the competition.
Caroline Graham Hansen, who like Rolfö is a former Wolfsburg player, scored both goals in Barcelona’s 2-1 aggregate semifinal win over Chelsea.
SELL OUT PSV
Stadium has sold out, though capacity is only 34,100. It should set a Dutch record for a women’s game which stands at 30,640 in the same venue in 2019 when the national team hosted Australia.
A good sign for the health of women’s club soccer is that both teams have picked up an allocation of more than 4,500 for their own supporters. That’s “far more than ever before,” said Nadine Kessler, the UEFA managing director of women’s soccer.
Just over a year ago, Camp Nou broke its own world record for a women’s soccer match when more than 91,600 fans turned out for Barcelona’s 5-1 rout of Wolfsburg in the first leg of the semifinals. Wolfsburg won the second leg 2-0 but Barcelona advanced 5-3 on aggregate.
When will the UEFA Women’s Champions League final between Barcelona and Wolfsburg begin?
The kick-off for the UEFA Women’s Champions League final between Barcelona and Wolfsburg is at 7:30pm IST on Saturday at the Philips Stadion.
Where can I watch the UEFA Women’s Champions League final between Barcelona and Wolfsburg?
The UEFA Women’s Champions League final between Barcelona and Wolfsburg can be live streamed on DAZN channel on YouTube for free.
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