Barcelona has an appointment with history. This afternoon will be the first Spanish team to play a final of the Champions League, feat unthinkable five years ago when professionalization in women's football did not exist. Opposite they will have the almighty Olympique de Lyon, consecutive champion in the last three years (he has raised five ears in the last eight seasons) and led by the best player in the world and Golden Boot, Ada Hegerberg.
The goalkeeper of Barcelona, Sandra Paños, and the captain of the team, Vicky Losada, wanted to share with ABC the moments before the grand final, reveal their feelings and assess the real options that has to dethrone Lyon. "Just thinking about this match makes my skin crawl. It's something very beautiful and this helps women's football keep growing. We are very proud of what we are getting and of what is being written for the future, "Paños, who has kept the goal in zero in seven of the eight matches played in Europe, is started. "You give up many things, the family, the friends, I trained at eleven o'clock at night, played on dirt fields … You have to give a lot to football and maybe it gives you something back. We are lucky, we are going to play a final and it was worth it. And if it's not worth it, at least we'll learn. If it is lost it will be a hard blow but it is only the beginning of a Barça that will be in more Champions finals. It will make us mature before. If it is lost it will be a good for the future, "adds Losada with a damp glow in his eyes.
Lyon start with the favorite vitola and Barcelona takes it, but the quality, the record and the budget of the French team does not dare the Spanish, who say they do not go to Budapest as stone guests. «It is the most important day of my career. Playing a Champions final everyone dreams of it. European Championships, World Cups, Champions … would be to contribute something more to the list of winners. As a child I did not imagine this or what is coming at the level of professionalization. It is a very nice path that we are opening for little girls. We are enjoying this moment and do not doubt that we are going to go for the cup, "warns Paños. And Losada says that "we have been able to prepare the game with time. Mentally we are fine. Fear? Not much less. In these last years we have also gained a little respect. There will be mutual respect and we will go for them ». What's more, the Barca midfielder is convinced that "of course you can be surprised, but individually they are very, very, very good. If we all do a good game at a collective level we will make a better match than them. The pressure is yours. They have been winning for a long time and we are going without pressure, although that does not mean that we are going to Budapest. "
These last three years, Lyon have needed the extension and in two of them the penalties to be crowned champion. Barcelona are also clinging to that, which has one of its bastions in Sandra Paños, as evidenced by having only conceded three goals in the tournament, in the first match in Kazakhstan. In fact, coach Lluís Cortés has acknowledged that they have tried penalties. «If we are in the final, it is not for an individual job but for the collective one. Sign penalties? If it can be resolved before and on our behalf, much better. But if everything gets complicated, of course I sign them. I am ready to play the ninety minutes and if the penalties come, but the idea is to close it in ninety minutes. I do not want to give myself more responsibility than I have. We are all important and it is a day to divide responsibilities and together we get a good result and we can achieve victory ", summarizes the azulgrana catcher. Intervenes Losada to ensure that "ninety minutes Lyon is more beatable than 180. A single game, neutral field, if you get a round performance … We have the quality to get it and to stop. It will be completely different to last year's tie. "
Precisely, that cross in the quarterfinals confirmed the way forward of Barcelona in European women's football but still glimpsed the distance with the great references of the continent as the own Lyon, Wolfsburg or PSG. "We have to be serious as we did last year before them. Follow the same line as in that game but having more chances to score. It was a match in which I had to intervene a lot and I hope that this one is not so similar. The approach is to have more the ball. We hope he is as good defensively and a little better offensively, "recalls Paños, who saved Barça from a rout in Lyon. Vicky Losada believes it will be different: «We also have experience and players like Lieke Martens or Toni Duggan, who are in a good shape. The finals are played to win them. We are ambitious and we are going to go for them, but they are a great team, that people know. We have the name but they have been winning the Champions for many years. It can be a turning point for us but it is true that they, individually, are one level above us. "
The names do not scare the players culés, who rely on the collective. Moreover, the goalkeeper considers that at the group level Barça is better: "Lyon is a top team, which has the best players in all positions. Maybe as a team it is not the best because it wins by individualities and is aggressive up, very effective, with great defenses ». Meanwhile, the nerves lead Losada to bite her lip before confessing that "if we win the Champions I have promised to do a triathlon, although swimming is not very good …" Captain's Promise (tagsToTranslate) champions (t) feminine (t) barcelona