The loss of two key strikers would end the hopes of many teams, but with its vast array of attacking talent Olympique Lyonnais still managed to beat Wolfsburg and win a record fifth consecutive Champions League title on Sunday.
The French champion lost former Ballon d'Or winner Ada Hegerberg to a knee injury earlier in the season, and a red card for Nikita Parris in the semifinal against Paris St Germain saw her suspended for the final against the German champion.
“People said it was the best time to play us because we were missing so many players, but we were the best side in the first half by a long shot, and the game was almost finished at halftime,” Lyon defender Lucy Bronze said following the 3-1 win.
“We've definitely got the strongest squad in the world.”
Lyon was able to call on experienced forward Eugenie Le Sommer to replace Parris, and she notched a goal and assist to allow captain Wendie Renard to lift the trophy in San Sebastian once again.
It was the seventh time that French international team mates Le Sommer, Renard and goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi have been crowned club champions of Europe.
“It's actually quite difficult to believe we have managed our fifth straight title, to be honest. We're super proud of ourselves, it was a very difficult competition ... if you sign for Lyon, you sign up to be a winner,” Bouhaddi said.
Despite Wolfsburg's best efforts, there is little to suggest that any other European club can knock Lyon off its perch, and Renard intends to enjoy the club's success.
“It's hard to be a winner, you have to work extremely hard. You battle year in, year out for this trophy. We're bringing it back. We're bringing it back for the fans,” she said.
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