UWCL : Return to Hjørring for the 100th European match (Wednesday 19h00)
On Wednesday night, OL's women's team will become the first to reach the 100-game mark in European competition. It's a round figure, and one that symbolizes continuity at the highest level since the first participation in the European Cup in 2007-2008. In 12 seasons, OL have reached the final of the Women's Champions League 8 times, and have won 6 times; nobody has done better in Europe.
With that number of matches played in the competition, OL are ahead of Arsenal and its 81 matches. As a sign of fate, it is against the same Arsenal team that the club of President Jean-Michel Aulas had managed its first big European feat, during its first continental adventure, eliminating the title holder in the quarterfinals (0-0, 3-2) and at the same time making a sensational entrance into the big leagues. Since then, Lyon have become queens of Europe, taking the upper hand over German teams (Potsdam, Frankfurt, Wolfsburg) and English (Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea).
This supremacy has been acquired by the teammates of Wendie Renard not only through talent but also their mental approach. A simple recipe, but one whose balance is difficult to maintain over the years. Leaders, staff members, and players, have all strived to bring and maintain this team at the highest level. All have contributed to the building of its legacy, under the orders of Farid Benstiti, Patrice Lair, Gérard Prêcheur, Reynald Pedros, and now Jean-Luc Vasseur. The story is so beautiful, the emotions so strong, that everything is done to make it last.
And in this season again, OL are starting from a good base by eliminating the Russian side Ryazan (9-0, 7-0), in the round of 32. OL are now drawn away to Fortuna Hjørring, who OL had eliminated at this same stadium and at the same stage of the competition 10 years ago (1-0, 5-0). Since then, the Danish club, created in 1966 and finalist of the event in 2003, have struggled to do better on the European scene. Their best players go abroad and Fortuna tries to reinvest in it infrastructure and develop its training.
Faced with a young team but one well put together, in a recently renovated stadium that should accommodate nearly 2,500 spectators, and in a very rainy Nordic, OL will be on a mission to celebrate its 100th European match in style, taking the lead in the quarter-finals before the October 30 return leg.