LYON were crowned European women’s champions after beating domestic rivals Paris St. Germain in the Champions League final in Cardiff this week. The club’s fourth title cemented its position at the top of the women’s game.
Here’s a run-down of 12 of the best women’s teams across the continent at the moment:
Olympique Lyonnais (France)
Champions of Division 1 Féminine for the past 11 years, Lyon secured the 2016-17 title with 21 wins from 22 games, scoring 103 goals and conceding just six. They had the two top scorers in the competition, Eugénie Le Sommer and BBC Women’s player of 2017, Ada Hegerberg, who netted 37 goals between them. Lyon were eight points clear of second-placed Montpellier. They’ve also got USA star player Alex Morgan in their ranks.The club was originally formed in 1970, adopting the OL name in 2004. They’ve won the UEFA Champions League four times and have been French champions 15 times.
How they won the Champions League
Round of 32: Avaldsnes (Norway) 5-2 (a) 5-0 (h) Round of 16: Zurich (Switzerland) 8-0 (h), 9-0 (a) Quarter-Final: Wolfsburg (Germany) 2-0 (a), 0-1 (h) Semi-Final: Manchester City (England) 3-1 (a), 0-1 (h) Final: Paris St. Germain (France) 0-0 – won on penalties.
Goals: 6 – Le Sommer; 5 – Abily ; 4 – Hegerberg; 3 – Kumagai, Marozsan, Lavogez; 2 – Renard, Tarrieu; 1 – Cascarino, Bathy, Seger, Petit
This season’s Frauen Bundesliga champions, for the third time in five years, and cup winners. The “she wolves” were not allowed to celebrate their success this year because the parent club had a rough time in 2016-17! Their party has been delayed until next season. The club dates back to 1973 but joined the Wolfsburg family in 2003. They’ve won the UEFA Champions League twice, in 2013 and 2014. Their key players include striker Alexandra Popp, who was named footballer of the year in Germany in 2014 and 2016. Popp has been capped 80 times by Germany and has scored 35 goals. Pernille Harder, a Danish forward, is another star name, described as “world class”. Wolfsburg also have the joint leading scorer in this season’s Champions League, the Hungarian international Zsanett Jakabfi.
Paris St. Germain (France)
Runners-up in this season’s Champions League final, PSG Féminines finished third in the French league. They have Brazilian forward Cristiane in their side, a prolific scorer for her country with 83 goals in 117 games. She’s also the record scorer in the UEFA Champions League. Other star names include Spanish central defender Irene Paredes and experienced Costa Rican midfielder Shirley Cruz.
FC Rosengard (Sweden)
Malmo-based Rosengard were runners-up in the Damallsvenskan in 2016 but won the cup, beating champions Linkopings. Until this season, they had Brazilian striker Marta in their line-up, arguably the most famous footballing woman in the world.
1.FFC Frankfurt (Germany)
Seven times champions of the Bundesliga and nine times cup winners, Frankfurt attract 1,400 people to their home games at the Brentanobad stadium. They have the most prolific scorer in German women’s football in Mandy Islacker, who has topped the Bundesliga charts for the past two seasons.
Brøndby IF (Denmark)
Brøndby IF have won the Danish Elitedivisionen 10 times, the last in 2015. Their star-studded squad includes Danish international defenders Simone Boye Sørensen and Stine Larsen, winger Katrine Veje and midfielder Nanna Christiansen.
Fortuna Hjørring (Denmark)
Reigning Danish champions who recently signed high profile Brazilian striker Chu Santos to bolster their squad. Fortuna are known for being an entertaining team full of skilful players.
Futbol Club Barcelona Femení was founded in 1988 and have been champions of the Primera Division four times. They reached the semi-finals of the Champions League this season.
1.FFC Turbine Potsdam (Germany)
Founded in 1971, Potsdam have won the Bundesliga six times, the last being in 2012. They’ve also won the Champions League twice (2005 and 2010).
FC Zurich Frauen (Switzerland)
20 times Swiss champions, Zurich date back to 1970.
Manchester City (England)
Women’s Super League champions in 2016 and Cup winners in 2017, City are packed with internationals and the top club in England at present. Champions League semi-finalists in 2017.
Bayern Munich (Germany)
German champions in 2015 and 2016. Formed in 1970.
The UEFA Champions League for Women – some facts and figures
Most title wins: Frankfurt and Lyon – 4 apiece
Wins by country: Germany 9, France 4, Sweden 2, England 1
Most goals scored in the competition: Anja Mittag (Potsdam, Rosengard, PSG) 49
Average crowd 2016-17: 1,986
Final crowd 2016-17: 22,433