Insight

‘It’s an exciting time to be a female footballer’

New champions, a new format and a new TV deal: get ready for a brave new dawn in the Women’s Champions League

WORDS Michael Harrold

The 2021/22 Women’s Champions League will usher in a new era for the competition. For starters, for the first time since 2016, Lyon have been pushed off the podium, with Barcelona clinching their inaugural title after a 4-0 win over Chelsea in Gothenburg. Lluís Cortés’s side will kick off their campaign in the all-new 16-team group stage, a major innovation designed to increase the standard of and interest in the competition.

Barcelona set an example for the rest to follow with a whirlwind first half, jumping to a 4-0 lead before cruising to the title in the second half. It was sweet reward for the Blaugrana, who were beaten 4-1 by Lyon in the 2019 final. “I’m very proud of this team because we deserve it,” said Aitana Bonmatí, scorer of Barcelona’s third. “We've been working hard since the final in Budapest [in 2019] and we set ourselves a challenge, which was to get to another final and win it. And that’s what we did.”

Never before has a club won both the men’s and women’s Champions League and Barcelona will now defend their title with the eyes of the continent upon them. “It’s what the players have wanted for a long time,” said Manchester City and England defender Lucy Bronze of the new approach. “It’s what the teams have wanted and it’s the best thing for women’s football now – to get more of the top teams playing, and having more games with these top teams playing against each other more consistently.

The 2021/22 Women’s Champions League will usher in a new era for the competition. For starters, for the first time since 2016, Lyon have been pushed off the podium, with Barcelona clinching their inaugural title after a 4-0 win over Chelsea in Gothenburg. Lluís Cortés’s side will kick off their campaign in the all-new 16-team group stage, a major innovation designed to increase the standard of and interest in the competition.

Barcelona set an example for the rest to follow with a whirlwind first half, jumping to a 4-0 lead before cruising to the title in the second half. It was sweet reward for the Blaugrana, who were beaten 4-1 by Lyon in the 2019 final. “I’m very proud of this team because we deserve it,” said Aitana Bonmatí, scorer of Barcelona’s third. “We've been working hard since the final in Budapest [in 2019] and we set ourselves a challenge, which was to get to another final and win it. And that’s what we did.”

Never before has a club won both the men’s and women’s Champions League and Barcelona will now defend their title with the eyes of the continent upon them. “It’s what the players have wanted for a long time,” said Manchester City and England defender Lucy Bronze of the new approach. “It’s what the teams have wanted and it’s the best thing for women’s football now – to get more of the top teams playing, and having more games with these top teams playing against each other more consistently.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

“It’s important to include the lower-ranked nations as well. They need the exposure and it’s a balance between getting the top teams playing and making sure we don’t leave anybody behind. We want to grow women’s football together.”

That aim will be furthered by the news of a new broadcasting partnership with sports streaming platform DAZN, who will show all games from the group stages onwards for the next four years. And for the first two of those years, all 61 of those matches will be available for free on their YouTube channel.

“There will be a lot of attention on the group stage, a set of games that are going to be the most competitive in women’s football, with the biggest stars,” said Chelsea captain Magdalena Eriksson. “It’s a really exciting time to be a female footballer.”

Qualifying begins 28 July, building up to Matchday 1 of the new group stage on 5 and 6 October. The final will be at the Juventus Stadium on 22 May. Ready?

The 2021/22 Women’s Champions League will usher in a new era for the competition. For starters, for the first time since 2016, Lyon have been pushed off the podium, with Barcelona clinching their inaugural title after a 4-0 win over Chelsea in Gothenburg. Lluís Cortés’s side will kick off their campaign in the all-new 16-team group stage, a major innovation designed to increase the standard of and interest in the competition.

Barcelona set an example for the rest to follow with a whirlwind first half, jumping to a 4-0 lead before cruising to the title in the second half. It was sweet reward for the Blaugrana, who were beaten 4-1 by Lyon in the 2019 final. “I’m very proud of this team because we deserve it,” said Aitana Bonmatí, scorer of Barcelona’s third. “We've been working hard since the final in Budapest [in 2019] and we set ourselves a challenge, which was to get to another final and win it. And that’s what we did.”

Never before has a club won both the men’s and women’s Champions League and Barcelona will now defend their title with the eyes of the continent upon them. “It’s what the players have wanted for a long time,” said Manchester City and England defender Lucy Bronze of the new approach. “It’s what the teams have wanted and it’s the best thing for women’s football now – to get more of the top teams playing, and having more games with these top teams playing against each other more consistently.

‘It’s an exciting time to be a female footballer’
Insight

‘It’s an exciting time to be a female footballer’

New champions, a new format and a new TV deal: get ready for a brave new dawn in the Women’s Champions League

WORDS Michael Harrold

The 2021/22 Women’s Champions League will usher in a new era for the competition. For starters, for the first time since 2016, Lyon have been pushed off the podium, with Barcelona clinching their inaugural title after a 4-0 win over Chelsea in Gothenburg. Lluís Cortés’s side will kick off their campaign in the all-new 16-team group stage, a major innovation designed to increase the standard of and interest in the competition.

Barcelona set an example for the rest to follow with a whirlwind first half, jumping to a 4-0 lead before cruising to the title in the second half. It was sweet reward for the Blaugrana, who were beaten 4-1 by Lyon in the 2019 final. “I’m very proud of this team because we deserve it,” said Aitana Bonmatí, scorer of Barcelona’s third. “We've been working hard since the final in Budapest [in 2019] and we set ourselves a challenge, which was to get to another final and win it. And that’s what we did.”

Never before has a club won both the men’s and women’s Champions League and Barcelona will now defend their title with the eyes of the continent upon them. “It’s what the players have wanted for a long time,” said Manchester City and England defender Lucy Bronze of the new approach. “It’s what the teams have wanted and it’s the best thing for women’s football now – to get more of the top teams playing, and having more games with these top teams playing against each other more consistently.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

The 2021/22 Women’s Champions League will usher in a new era for the competition. For starters, for the first time since 2016, Lyon have been pushed off the podium, with Barcelona clinching their inaugural title after a 4-0 win over Chelsea in Gothenburg. Lluís Cortés’s side will kick off their campaign in the all-new 16-team group stage, a major innovation designed to increase the standard of and interest in the competition.

Barcelona set an example for the rest to follow with a whirlwind first half, jumping to a 4-0 lead before cruising to the title in the second half. It was sweet reward for the Blaugrana, who were beaten 4-1 by Lyon in the 2019 final. “I’m very proud of this team because we deserve it,” said Aitana Bonmatí, scorer of Barcelona’s third. “We've been working hard since the final in Budapest [in 2019] and we set ourselves a challenge, which was to get to another final and win it. And that’s what we did.”

Never before has a club won both the men’s and women’s Champions League and Barcelona will now defend their title with the eyes of the continent upon them. “It’s what the players have wanted for a long time,” said Manchester City and England defender Lucy Bronze of the new approach. “It’s what the teams have wanted and it’s the best thing for women’s football now – to get more of the top teams playing, and having more games with these top teams playing against each other more consistently.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

“It’s important to include the lower-ranked nations as well. They need the exposure and it’s a balance between getting the top teams playing and making sure we don’t leave anybody behind. We want to grow women’s football together.”

That aim will be furthered by the news of a new broadcasting partnership with sports streaming platform DAZN, who will show all games from the group stages onwards for the next four years. And for the first two of those years, all 61 of those matches will be available for free on their YouTube channel.

“There will be a lot of attention on the group stage, a set of games that are going to be the most competitive in women’s football, with the biggest stars,” said Chelsea captain Magdalena Eriksson. “It’s a really exciting time to be a female footballer.”

Qualifying begins 28 July, building up to Matchday 1 of the new group stage on 5 and 6 October. The final will be at the Juventus Stadium on 22 May. Ready?

The 2021/22 Women’s Champions League will usher in a new era for the competition. For starters, for the first time since 2016, Lyon have been pushed off the podium, with Barcelona clinching their inaugural title after a 4-0 win over Chelsea in Gothenburg. Lluís Cortés’s side will kick off their campaign in the all-new 16-team group stage, a major innovation designed to increase the standard of and interest in the competition.

Barcelona set an example for the rest to follow with a whirlwind first half, jumping to a 4-0 lead before cruising to the title in the second half. It was sweet reward for the Blaugrana, who were beaten 4-1 by Lyon in the 2019 final. “I’m very proud of this team because we deserve it,” said Aitana Bonmatí, scorer of Barcelona’s third. “We've been working hard since the final in Budapest [in 2019] and we set ourselves a challenge, which was to get to another final and win it. And that’s what we did.”

Never before has a club won both the men’s and women’s Champions League and Barcelona will now defend their title with the eyes of the continent upon them. “It’s what the players have wanted for a long time,” said Manchester City and England defender Lucy Bronze of the new approach. “It’s what the teams have wanted and it’s the best thing for women’s football now – to get more of the top teams playing, and having more games with these top teams playing against each other more consistently.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

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