|Date: Sunday, 16 Might Kick-off: 20:00 BST Venue: Gamla Ullevi, Gothenburg, Sweden BBC protection: Dwell textual content protection on the BBC Sport web site, commentary on BBC Radio 5 Dwell|
Barcelona face Chelsea on Sunday to determine this season’s Ladies’s Champions League winners.
And whereas it’s the English facet’s first look within the showpiece occasion, Barca shall be seeking to go a step additional than their defeat within the 2019 closing.
Right here is every part it’s essential to find out about Chelsea’s opponents in Gothenburg, together with Pep Guardiola, the analyst turned hero, and a young person’s cope with her mother and father.
Barca by means of and thru
Of 25 gamers on Barcelona’s roster, simply 5 are usually not Spanish and from these 20, 9 are graduates of the membership’s famed La Masia academy.
The Barcelona model of play is instilled all through this squad with key gamers drawing affect from the Pep Guardiola period on the Nou Camp, consisting of gamers like Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Carles Puyol.
Iniesta referred to girls’s captain captain Alexia Putellas as “a representation of Barca”, and after coming by means of the ranks alongside Aitana Bonmati and Patri Guijarro, the trio have realized to show an unmatched chemistry within the midfield.
Putellas, a Barcelona fan since she was younger, turned the primary feminine participant to attain within the Nou Camp for the membership in January towards Espanyol.
And defender Jana Fernandez and striker Bruna Vilamala have come a great distance from La Masia children to successful their first league title with the primary crew.
For lots of those Barcelona gamers, it is not solely about succeeding on the largest stage however giving their beloved membership the best trophy in membership soccer.
Barca’s girls’s stadium is known as after the main determine of the membership’s philosophy: Johan Cruyff, the membership’s legendary ex-player and supervisor.
And the facet has established that very same philosophy of passing soccer, impressed by Cruyff and Guardiola.
“I used to be at all times a Barca fan, however I turned a fanatic within the Guardiola period,” said Putellas.
“That soccer was spectacular and the need to win every part, that is how they achieved every part they did.”
It is value noting that this Barcelona facet averages 60% possession and has scored 128 targets in 26 league matches this season, conceding 5.
From analyst to hero
Supervisor Lluis Cortes joined Barcelona as a first-team analyst in 2017, he then discovered himself on the teaching workers shortly after.
In 2019, he took over from Fran Sanchez as head coach and led the crew to their first Champions League closing, although it led to a disappointing 4-1 defeat by Lyon.
The next 12 months, Cortes signed Caroline Graham Hansen, introduced Jennifer Hermoso again to the membership and gained Barcelona their first league title in 4 years.
Since that closing disappointment two years in the past, Cortes and Barcelona have been constructing to this second.
“We did not know what the Champions League closing was like,” said Cortes.
“We had but to expertise the build-up, the media, the pre-match present and the match itself. It was all new.
“For them [Lyon] it was one other day within the workplace, so that they have been already forward going into the sport.”
Now, Barcelona have already skilled a closing and Cortes’ facet are right here to win it this time round.
A cope with the mother and father
Rising up in Nigeria, being knowledgeable girls’s footballer was extraordinary to Asisat Oshoala’s household, virtually frowned upon, however the striker defied the chances and her mother and father.
After having to play soccer on the streets in secret, it was not till she acquired the golden boot within the 2014 Below-20 World Cup that her mother and father accepted her profession as a footballer.
Oshoala got here to an settlement along with her mother and father; if she did not have success in soccer by 20, she must give up and research regulation.
A profitable begin to her profession in Nigeria resulted in Matt Beard brining Oshoala to Liverpool in 2015, the identical 12 months through which she was voted the BBC’s Ladies’s Footballer of the 12 months.
Oshoala has opened her personal soccer basis in Lagos, Nigeria, accessible solely to ladies, permitting them to dream of taking part in professionally and offering them with a path to take action.
“I do know I’ve a duty,” said Oshoala.
“After soccer I’ll dedicate all my time to assist women in Africa, so they do not undergo the difficulties that I did.”
Countless threats for Spanish facet
With Barca’s depth of expertise, it’s tough to know the place to begin when highlighting gamers to look at.
Ahead Hermoso is within the race for the Champions League golden boot, tied at six targets with Chelsea’s Fran Kirby.
Ruthless in entrance of aim, Hermoso has scored 16 instances and registered eight assists this season throughout all competitors and lately turned Spain’s all-time main aim scorer.
Putellas, certainly one of many leaders within the facet, has managed 11 targets and 4 assists within the league, proving she will do all of it.
Norwegian winger Graham Hansen is taking part in excellent soccer, with seven targets and 12 assists this season, and shall be going up towards former Wolfsburg team-mate, Pernille Tougher on this closing.
Whereas on the left wing, Cortes has both Lieke Martens or Mariona Caldentey to choose from, whether or not or not it’s from the beginning or from the bench, the Chelsea full-backs are in for a problem to include Barca’s broad menace.