Asisat Oshoala: Lyon Loss Galvanised Barcelona’s Conquest Of Europe


Asisat Oshoala has said that their Women’s Champions League final defeat by Lyon in 2019 helped her team “to conquer Europe”.

Barcelona, who lost 4-1 when the sides met in the final three years ago, won their first continental crown last year.

Both clubs face off again in Turin in the final on Saturday (17:00 GMT) – with Barca looking to defend their title against seven-time champions Lyon.

“It [2019] wasn’t a good outcome for us but it served as a stepping stone to be better team,” Nigeria international Oshoala told the BBC World Service.

“It was a learning process for us. Technically, it helped us to improve all aspects.

“The following year we lost to Wolfsburg in the semi-final and then in 2021 we went ahead to win it. We’re a different team now, much better than we were three years ago.”

After beating Chelsea 4-0 in the Champions League final 12 months ago, Barcelona retained their domestic title this season by winning all 30 league games.

Four-time African Women’s Footballer of the Year Oshoala has starred, when available.

The forward finished the Primera Liga Iberdrola campaign as joint-top scorer with 20 goals in 19 appearances – despite missing two months of the season with injury.

The 27-year-old came off the bench to net a consolation goal against Lyon in 2019, as the French giants won the fourth of five successive European titles, and she thinks Barcelona go into Saturday’s game as underdogs.

“They won the Champions League five years in a row, so they’re obviously the team to beat here,” the former Liverpool and Arsenal player said.

“They have amazing players and amazing history when it comes to women’s soccer in Europe. So I think you still expect the same Lyon as three years ago. They got better as well.

“They signed new players and tried to beef up the team so I think they are much stronger than they were.

“But when it comes to football, it comes down to whoever utilizes their chances ends up winning the game.”

Meanwhile, Oshoala thinks reducing the final in Turin to a match-up between two Ballon d’Or winners is “lame”.

Barca midfielder Alexia Putellas won the Women’s Ballon d’Or, given to the best female footballer, in 2021 while Lyon forward Ada Hegerberg took the inaugural award in 2018.

“It is not one person against one person, it is a team sport. This is not tennis or darts,” Oshoala said.

“The Alexia that I know, she’s not a person who puts these things in her mind. She is a player who is very humble.

“We have Lieke (Martens), Caroline (Graham Hansen), myself, we have the goalkeeper (Sandra Panos). At Lyons they have Dzsenifer Marozsan, Wendi (Renard) and a whole lot of top players in their team.

“It is not about who is superior. I think it is lame to do this type of comparison.”

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