|Date: Sunday, 16 May Kick-off: 20:00 BST Venue: Gamla Ullevi, Gothenburg, Sweden BBC protection: Live textual content protection on the BBC Sport web site, commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live|
Barcelona face Chelsea on Sunday to determine this season’s Women’s Champions League winners.
And whereas it’s the English facet’s first look within the showpiece occasion, Barca shall be trying to go a step additional than their defeat within the 2019 last.
Here is the whole lot you must learn about Chelsea’s opponents in Gothenburg, together with Pep Guardiola, the analyst turned hero, and a young person’s take care of her mother and father.
Barca by means of and thru
Of 25 gamers on Barcelona’s roster, simply 5 usually are 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 discovered to show an unmatched chemistry within the midfield.
Putellas, a Barcelona fan since she was younger, grew to become 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 good distance from La Masia children to profitable their first league title with the primary workforce.
For a variety of these Barcelona gamers, it isn’t solely about succeeding on the most important stage however giving their beloved membership the best trophy in membership soccer.
Barca’s girls’s stadium is called 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 was always a Barca fan, but I became a fanatic in the Guardiola era,” said Putellas.
“That football was impressive and the desire to win everything, that’s how they achieved everything they did.”
It’s value noting that this Barcelona facet averages 60% possession and has scored 128 objectives in 26 league matches this season, conceding 5.
From analyst to hero
Manager Lluis Cortes joined Barcelona as a first-team analyst in 2017, he then discovered himself on the teaching employees shortly after.
In 2019, he took over from Fran Sanchez as head coach and led the workforce to their first Champions League last, although it resulted in a disappointing 4-1 defeat by Lyon.
The following yr, Cortes signed Caroline Graham Hansen, introduced Jennifer Hermoso again to the membership and gained Barcelona their first league title in 4 years.
Since that last disappointment two years in the past, Cortes and Barcelona have been constructing to this second.
“We didn’t know what the Champions League final was like,” said Cortes.
“We had yet to experience the build-up, the media, the pre-match show and the match itself. It was all new.
“For them [Lyon] it was one other day within the workplace, in order that they have been already forward going into the sport.”
Now, Barcelona have already experienced a final and Cortes’ side are here to win it this time around.
A take care of the mother and father
Growing up in Nigeria, being a professional women’s footballer was unheard of to Asisat Oshoala’s family, almost frowned upon, but the striker defied the odds and her parents.
After having to play football on the streets in secret, it was not until she got the golden boot in the 2014 Under-20 World Cup that her parents accepted her career as a footballer.
Oshoala came to an agreement with her parents; if she didn’t have success in football by 20, she would have to quit and study law.
A successful start to her career in Nigeria resulted in Matt Beard brining Oshoala to Liverpool in 2015, the same year in which she was voted the BBC’s Women’s Footballer of the Year.
Oshoala has opened her own football foundation in Lagos, Nigeria, available only to girls, allowing them to dream of playing professionally and providing them with a path to do so.
“I do know I’ve a accountability,” 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.”
Endless threats for Spanish facet
With Barca’s depth of talent, it is difficult to know where to start when highlighting players to watch.
Forward Hermoso is in the race for the Champions League golden boot, tied at six goals with Chelsea’s Fran Kirby.
Ruthless in front of goal, Hermoso has scored 16 times and registered eight assists this season across all competition and recently became Spain’s all-time leading goal scorer.
Putellas, one of many leaders in the side, has managed 11 goals and four assists in the league, proving she can do it all.
Norwegian winger Graham Hansen is playing outstanding football, with seven goals and 12 assists this season, and will be going up against former Wolfsburg team-mate, Pernille Harder in this final.
While on the left wing, Cortes has either Lieke Martens or Mariona Caldentey to pick from, whether it be from the start or from the bench, the Chelsea full-backs are in for a challenge to contain Barca’s wide threat.