Best of the Best

The UEFA Women’s Champions League final is just right around the corner! Ahead of the final in Juventus, Soccer 360’s Sean Maslin has a look at the Top Ten Moments in the competition’s finals history.

10.) Prinz Closes Out Waldastadion (2002)

The first-ever UEFA Champions League Final (then called the UEFA Women’s Cup Final) was a watershed moment for women’s football. It was also a major moment for football in general as it was the final match of the famous Waldastadion in Frankfurt. So it was only fitting that German football legend Birgit Prinz would score the game-clinching goal for F.F.S. Frankurt over Swedish side Umea. While the Waldastadion looks much different today (it was rebuilt for the 2002 World Cup) it will forever be remembered as the place where the Women’s Champions League began.

9.) Scott Lights Spark For Arsenal (2007)

It is difficult to determine exactly when England became not just a men’s footballing nation but a footballing nation as a whole, but Alex Scott’s incredible performance across two legs in the 2007 UEFA Women’s Cup Final for Arsenal may just be it. The legendary right-back scored the first goal for Arsenal in the first leg against Umea. In the second leg at Borehamwood, she led the backline in a shutout of the Swedish side to help the Gunners become the first-ever English UEFA Women’s Cup champions.

8.) Wolfsburg Makes It A Double (2014)– Prior to the 2014 Champions League, Wolfsburg were heavily favored to claim their second title. There was just one problem: they would have to get past Marta and a high-scoring Tyreso side. With four lead changes it looked like the game might go into extra time. But Martina Muller scored with a cracking strike in the 80th minute to give Wolfsburg top honors.

7.) Frankfurt Wins The All-German Final (2006)

One of the biggest rivalries in European women’s football is F.F.C. Frankfurt and Turbine Potsdam. The two sides have only ever met in a UEFA final once, the 2006 Women’s Cup series. Frankfurt showed their attacking prowess in the first match, putting up a 4-0 win. In the second leg Turbine showed some promise, but Frankfurt shut the door on any notions of a comeback with a 3-2 win.

6.) Turbine Holds Off Lyon (2010)

The sun would shine brightly on Turbine just four years later in the Champions League Final. In the first final under the rebranding, Turbine goalkeeper Anna Felicitas Sarnholtz would make three key stops in penalties to help lift the German champions over a young upstart Lyon side.

5.) Les Lyonnaises Get Their Revenge (2011)

It wouldn’t take long for Lyon to get their revenge against Turbine. In the 2011 final the new kids on the block would take the lead against their German counterparts  thanks to goals from Wendi Renard and Lara Dickenmann. Lyon would go on to run the decade, winning seven of ten UEFA Champions League finals.

4.) Barcelona’s Big Moment (2021)

If at first you don’t succeed, always try again. Two years after Barcelona suffered heart ache in the Champions League Final, The Blaugranes came storming back in the 2021 Final, ripping favorites Chelsea 4-0. While the match itself was one-sided, Barcelona winning the title is the most important. For a footballing nation that for years ignored women’s soccer it was a sign that things are changing and that the rest of the world needs to take notice.

3. ) Bouhaddi Shuts Down Wolfsburg (2013)

Making one penalty kick stop in a Champions League final is difficult, but making two penalty kick stops back-to-back is almost impossible. In the 2013 Final, Bouhaddi made the impossible a reality by stopping Wolfsburg captain Nilla Fischer and Elise Bussaglia in consecutive chances to help Lyon win their third Champions League title.

2.) Hegerberger’s Hat Trick (2020)

For years, Ada Hegerberger’s work had gone unnoticed in the footballing world. That was until 2020 when the Lyon striker became the first player in Women’s Champions League Final history to score a hat trick. The Norwegian international wasted little time to make an impact, netting all three goals in the first half hour.

1.) Keeper Converts In All-French Derby (2017)

In Women’s football the biggest derby is Lyon-Paris St. Germain. So it should serve as no surprise that the two sides would meet in a Champions League Final. Much like their league matches in 2017, the final at Cardiff was a 0-0 nail biter with both sides coming close to taking the advantage. In penalties the two sides traded goal-for-goal until Bouhdadi scores the game-winner at 7-6.

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