Barcelona are the champions of Europe, ending Lyon’s five year reign at the top of women’s football, and the newly released UEFA Women’s Champions League Squad of the Season reflects it. The Catalans led the way with eight selections with runners-up Chelsea coming in behind them with 6. The two losing semifinalists, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich, were recognized with four and three selections respectively.
Bayern’s Marina Hegering, Sydney Lohmann, and Lina Magull were recognized for their contributions in leading the Bavarians back to the Semifinals of the UWCL. While they were upended by Chelsea, Bayern made a clear statement this year that they were going to be around for a long time.
Lyon, having been knocked out in the Quarterfinals by PSG, ended their five year run of having at least eight players in the Squad of the Season. Just an incredible and unbelievable run that has finally ended.
Squad of the Season
Goalkeepers: Ann-Katrin Berger (Chelsea), Christiane Endler (Paris Saint-Germain), Sandra Paños (Barcelona)
Defenders: Magdalena Eriksson (Chelsea), Marina Hegering (Bayern München), Kathrin Hendrich (Wolfsburg), Ashley Lawrence (Paris Saint-Germain), Mapi León (Barcelona), Irene Paredes (Paris Saint-Germain)
Midfielders: Aitana Bonmatí (Barcelona), Grace Geyoro (Paris Saint-Germain), Patri Guijarro (Barcelona), Sophie Ingle (Chelsea), Sydney Lohmann (Bayern München), Lina Magull (Bayern München), Sam Mewis (Manchester City), Alexia Putellas (Barcelona)
Forwards: Caroline Graham Hansen (Barcelona), Pernille Harder (Chelsea), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Jenni Hermoso (Barcelona), Sam Kerr (Chelsea), Lieke Martens (Barcelona)
UEFA also ranked the top five goals of the 2020/21 UWCL campaign, and Bayern players took the top two slots! The goals from Hanna Glas (#1!) and Sarah Zadrazil (#2!) both occurred in the Semifinals tie against Chelsea.
Thankfully, UEFA has provided a video of the goals below, and you can enjoy.
UEFA is finally starting to take women’s football seriously, and the newly restructured format of the UEFA Women’s Champions League is the best example of it.
Beginning with next season’s competition, the field of teams will expand from 62 to 78. The first two rounds will, for the first time, feature a “Champions Path” and a “League Path” like the men’s Champions League. Also for the first time, the competition will feature a 16-team Group Stage before the knockout rounds.
The expanded field means that the top six leagues (France, Germany, Spain, England, Sweden, Czech Republic) will get three teams total in the competition. As of right in the Frauen Bundesliga, that would be Bayern Munich (Group Stage), Wolfsburg (Second Round), and Hoffenheim (First Round); however, there are two games remaining in the season, and those positions could still change.
UEFA has quadrupled the prize money beginning next season and have already lined up major world-wide corporations such as Hublot, Lays, Nike, and Visa. They also tease that they have “some more exciting news to share with you shortly”. The television/streaming rights have also been packaged as one entity to be sold instead of relying on each club to individually sell/stream their matches.
You can see the new logo and hear the new anthem for the UWCL below.