Tag Archives: Olympique Lyon Feminine

Should Lucy Bronze now be considered the best England player of all time?

This week England full back Lucy Bronze returned to the Women Super League, signing a two-year contract with her previous club, Manchester City. 

Bronze concluded her three-year stay with Olympiqe Lyon Feminine by lifting the Champions League last month as the French side secured the trophy with a 3-1 win over Frauen Bundesliga Champions VlB Wolfsburg in San Sebastian. 

During her remarkably successful time with the French Champions, she won all that was available to her: claiming three Champions League titles, three league titles, two Coup de France Feminine and a Trophee des Championnes.

Indeed, the 28-year old also secured a number of individual allocates, including the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year in 2019. 

On Bronze’s return to Manchester, Head Coach Gareth Taylor said:

“She is an unrivalled talent and her endless individual and team awards only scratch the surface of what a superb player she is, not only at Club level, but also internationally with England.”

For the Three Lions Bronze has also produced some memorable moments, one that immediately springs to mind is that stunning goal against Norway in their last 16 game back in 2015.

This, however, begs the question, should she now be considered the best female player that England has ever produced?

Well, when you think of great England Women footballer’s one name that immediately springs to mind is Kelly Smith.

Smith was able to successfully represent the Three Lions for the best part of two decades earning 117 caps. She was one who arguably blazed a trail for future England footballers such as Bronze. 

During her club career she scored a remarkable 125 goals in 144 games for Arsenal Ladies over three separate spells with the Gunners. 

Smith also played for a number of American football teams such as New Jersey Lady Stallions, Philadelphia Charge and New Jersey Wildcats in her eight years in the USA. 

Ultimately, Smith ended her career with 20 trophies in three separate, which included starring in Arsenal’s amazing 2006-07 season where they secured the Quadruple.  She played a key part of this success by scoring 30 goals in 34 matches across those four competitions.  She was also presented the FA Player of Year award twice. 

BBC Match of the Day commentator Jonathan Pearce said:

“She had power, strength, a lovely eye for a pass, finishing of course and was so dynamic in the penalty area. 

“She was a leader because of the way she played, that she demanded respect from her opponents and team-mates.  She was the first England women’s football superstar.” 

In short, what Smith was able to achieve while the English game was not fully professional was terrific but Bronze is certainly on the right path to either match or surpass her.

It is, however, difficult to compare the two players directly as they play different positions.  Bronze is the epitome of the modern day full back, while she can also be utilised in midfield and at times the centre of defence, where as Smith applied her trade typically further forward as a striker.

Overall I would still consider to be Smith to be the greatest player to come from these shores having been able to perform at a consistently high level for a number of years, added to that Bronze has still to win a European trophy with an English club. 

The 28-year old, however, certainly is on the right path and comes back to the WSL at a time when the League has a chance to establish itself as the world’s finest women’s division.  

What do you think? Should Lucy Bronze be considered England’s greatest ever player? Would Kelly Smith still get your vote? Feel free to post in the comments below….

Women’s Champions League – Who are the Last Eight?

The Women’s elite European competition is set to resume this week and just like the men’s tournament, it will be an eight-team knockout format with one-off ties.

The tournament will run from the 21-30thAugust with the games due to be played out in Spain at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao and the Anoeta Stadium in San Sebastian.

So, with that in mind, who are the remaining sides left in the competition?

Glasgow City

Beginning with Scottish side, Glasgow City, who have been the dominant side in Scotland for the best part of a decade.  They are appearing in the Quarter Finals for just the second time in their history.  Their only previous Quarter Final was against French side Paris Saint Germain back in 2015, which resulted in a 7-0 on aggregate loss.

Scott Booth, who has been in charge since 2015, currently coaches them. The Scottish side beat Brondby 3-1 on penalties in the previous round of 16 to get to this stage, following a 2-2 on aggregate scoreline. It is, however, difficult to see them progressing much further as they face a formidable German outfit in the form of VfL Wolfsburg.

VfL Wolfsburg

The German Champions, VfL Wolfsburg will be out to add the Champions League title to an already impressive 2019/20 campaign. They have previously won the Champions League in 2013 and 2014.  This made them the first German team to successful defend the European crown.

They comfortably saw off Dutch side FC Twente 7-0 on aggregate in the previous round and are rightly considered one of the tournament favourites alongside defending champions Lyon to lift the trophy in San Sebastian.

Atletico Madrid

Spanish side, Atletico Madrid are appearing in the Quarter Finals for the very first time.  In their four previous appearances they have never managed to get further than the last 16 where they have lost to Lyon in 2015-16 and Wolfsburg in 2018-19. They impressively saw off WSL runners-up Manchester City in the previous round.

The Madrid based side have been pretty inconsistent this season even though they managed to finish second in the Primera Iberdrola behind their Quarter Final opponents Barcelona.  Their preparation has also been disrupted after five of their players tested positive for COVID-19 last week leading to the cancellation of their training sessions.  Will subsequently begin their all-Spanish tie as underdogs.

Barcelona

The second of the two Spanish sides in the last eight, Barcelona were in the process of having their most successful season ever. The Catalan club had won 19 of their 21 league matches as well as the Supercopa de Espana.  They subsequently claimed the Primera Iberdrola by a nine-point margin and their first since 2015.

Lluis Cortes’s side saw off Belarus’s FC Minsk in the Last 16 and will start the Quarter Final with domestic rivals Atletico as clear favourites.

Arsenal

The Gunners are set to take part in their first WCL Quarter-Final in six years.  The North London club will need to win the competition to qualify for next season’s Champions League as they finished in third in the Women Super League.

Joe Montemurro’s side will be hoping the Football Writers Footballer of The Year, Vivianne Miedema can fire his team to European glory.  Their tie with Paris Saint Germain, however, is one that could certainly go either way.

Paris Saint Germain

French side Paris Saint Germain have reached the final of this competition twice before, their last of these was back in 2015 where they lost to FFC Frankfurt. Head Coach Olivier Echouafni has been in charge since 2018.

Echouafni’s team defeated Breidablik in the Last 16 and their tie with Arsenal is arguably the hardest to predict.

Olympique Lyon

Olympique Lyon has won the Division 1 Feminine an impressive 14 times in a row since the side was formed back in 2004. They have also won the Champions League a record six-times and are rightfully considered favourites to go all the way again.

Managed by Jean-Luc Vasseur their squad includes the likes of England international fullback Lucy Bronze, winger Nikita Parris and BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year for 2019, Norway’s Ada Hegerberg.

Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich are coached by Jens Scheuer, who has had the unenviable task of playing catch up with VfL Wolfsburg, who have won the Frauen Bundesliga crown for the past four years.

Last season’s Semi Finalists, however, were confidently able to dispatch BIIK- Kazygurt in the last round. The German side have a tough ask to progress any further as they face last season’s winners, Olympique Lyon next.

Tournament Schedule

Friday 21stAugust

Glasgow City vs Wolfsburg (5pm kick-off Anoeta Stadium, San Sebastian)

Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona (5pm kick-off San Mames Stadium, Bilbao – BT Sport 3 HD

Saturday 22ndAugust

Arsenal vs Paris Saint Germain (7pm kick-off Anoeta Stadium, San Sebastian) – BT Sport 1 HD

 Lyon vs Bayern Munich (7pm kick-off San Mames Stadium, Bilbao) – BT Sport 2 HD

 Tuesday 25thAugust

Glasgow City/Wolfsburg vs Atletico/Barcelona (7pm Anoeta Stadium, San Sebastian) – BT Sport 1 HD

 Wednesday 26thAugust

Arsenal/PSG vs Lyon/Bayern (7pm San Mames Stadium, Bilbao) – BT Sport 1 HD

Sunday 30thAugust

Final (7pm Anoeta Stadium, San Sebastian) – BT Sport 1 HD & Ultimate

How to watch?

All the matches will be available to watch on BT Sport.

Who do you fancy to go all the way to lift the trophy in San Sebastian on Sunday 30th August?