Barca favourites for Women’s Champions League final vs Wolfsburg at sold out PSV Stadium

June 2 – Despite fitness concerns, FC Barcelona will be favourites to claim their second European Cup title in the Champions League decider against Germany’s Wolfsburg. 

The Germans last won the Champions League nine years and need to win to ensure their return to the competition next season. They were eliminated from the competition last year by their Spanish opponents in the semi-finals.

“[Wolfsburg] have top-level players in every position, especially in midfield and upfront,” said FC Barcelona coach Jonatan Giráldez. “They are unique players at creating spaces, they are unique in one-on-ones, at playing that final pass, at shooting. They are a very difficult team to beat because of the way they defend.”

The pressure is on Barcelona to win or their season will be considered a failure back home, but the club has fitness concerns over Lucy Bronze, Caroline Graham Hansen and Asisat Oshoala, as well as star player Alexis Putellas, who last featured in the 2022 Champions League final but is set for a return.

Last season, they lost the final 3-1 to their nemesis Olympique Lyon. It is Barcelona’s third consecutive Champions League final, but the challenge in front of them will be formidable. Since 2020, Barcelona have failed only twice to score in a competitive match, and on both occasions, the opposition was VfL Wolfsburg. The Spanish will be backed by around 8,000 fans in Eindhoven.

“We are relaxed. It’s been a long season and we have been ticking off the objectives we set ourselves. We are itching to get on with the match now, because it’s a final. I think the two best, strongest and most in-teams have made it here,” said Barcelona director Xavi Puig, responsible for the women’s game at the club.

“The best way is to not let [Barcelona] play,” said Wolfsburg captain Alex Popp. “If they have the ball and start playing their tiki-taka football, and you’re too late going in for a challenge, then it’s really tough to get the ball.”

The 34,500-seater PSV Stadium will be sold out for the final. The venue has previously staged the UEFA Cup finals in 1978 and 2006 as well as three Euro 2000 matches. In 2019, 30,640 supporters watched the women’s friendly Netherlands – Australia at the PSV Stadium, a Dutch record.

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