Just over 4 months ago last season, Barcelona femenis were crowned the champions of Europe!
At this time it was their second major trophy of the season, but after this they went on to win Copa de la Reina which made it a treble winning season for the blaugrane femenis.
This was the best ever season in history for them, as it means they equalled the men & now (At the time of writing this) they are the only side with both male and female to have won the treble!
If you don’t know, that’s the La liga, Copa & Champions league all in one season!
So you’re properly wondering, “What has this got to do with anything?”
Well I believe there is a lesson to be learned about self belief, faith & team work, which could help your mindset. When your mind is right, there is no stopping you & setbacks are set up for great comebacks!
So let me explain the backstory & then the one night in Gothenburg.
The Women’s Champions League has only been around only since 2001, compared to the men’s Champions League, which was formed in 1955.
Barça however have only been competing in this since 2012/13, where on the debut over two legs, they were beaten 7,0 by the scum that is Arsenal football club.
Since their Champions League debut they made one round of 16, 3 quarter-finals, two Semifinals & one final which of course they won!
So it took 8 years for them to lift that Champions League, the other 7 years taking defeats and suffering heart ache, over and over again before becoming the champions officially.
So what exactly went wrong in the runners-up year, the semifinal the following year, that stopped them from winning like they did in 2021?
2018/2019 What Went Wrong?
Barça in 2018/19 were good but not great yet, we were going head-to-head with Atlético Madrid in the La liga for the top spot, and it was there’s to really lose as they were the champs for the last 2 years before they won it for the third time in a row.
Also, the coach in charge of the whole team at the time Fran Sanchez was not a very good coach, he has not coached since and from the team selections, which were bizarre to the way we played, if we were going to get far in the Champions League he had to go!
As the bells chimed for 2019 at new year’s, Fran was sacked as we needed a better coach in charge, so in came Lluis Cortés a young but inexperienced coach, with a team that needs a lot of re-coaching.
So that’s exactly what Lluis did for 5 months straight, worked on the new style of play and got the best he could out of the players that he had at the time.
They played so well it was a shame he did not come earlier than he could have won the league that year, but oh well he did something no one thought would happen at the club, which is get into the Champions League final, against the best team in the world at that time Lyon!
I thought at the time if they do what they have been doing under Lluis we can at least show the best version of ourselves, and we could cause an upset, we got to the final and never really turned up which was hard to watch.
In my mind, the team was all wrong, It’s like he got shook of Lyon and started to panic and change what was working to beat Lyon.
The choice to play Lieke Martens (The best female player in the world right now) out of her natural position which is on the left wing was a mistake.
Also, Toni Duggan who I do not rate to put it nicely starting ahead of Asisat Oshoala (On the bench) seems really loco then & even more so now! (As of the date of me writing this) She is 1/2 of a deadly strike force, scores so many goals and is one of the best forwards in football pound for pound.
Oshoala was the only person to score that night too for them in the 89th min. Other than that from start to finish Lyon imposed their dominance and destroyed a naive, scared & unconfident Barça team.
That could of caused a major upset had they been able to shack of the negative mindset they were left from Fran, and the shookness of Lluis who looked lost for the full 90.
2019/20 What Went Wrong?
Barça in 2019/20 went from good to great!
They made changes to the squad like getting more world-class players to join Martens, the two being Jennie Hermoso (We bought back) & Caroline Graham Hansen.
They then got rid of players like Toni Duggan & Andressa Alves out of the squad, which only made them stronger.
Not only that, but they also had great young talent in the team, that were playing more of a role this time around.
Patri was one of them & an all-rounder in midfield can play box to box or as an advanced AM but is a Dm mainly for Barça, but is so good she can also play CB if called upon!
The second player being my fav young player/2nd fav overall in the Barça team, Aitana Bonmati.. She is a CM who looks like Xavi but plays like Iniesta, a wonderful player and everybody should watch her play.. She is a joy to watch.
Anyway the team was on fire! They smashed Real Sociedad 10-1 in the supercopa final (Minor trophy).
Barça were confident, strong and hungry to prove a point, so much so they went on a 21 unbeaten run!
But then as you know in 2020 COVID hit & after the whole world shut down, it was announced that on the 6th of May 2020 the season was put to a premature end, and they just said that Barcelona won, they were top but they never got to the end of the season.
After a three-month break, the Champions League was allowed to come back on… So it’s August now, and Barça are up against Wolfsburg.
For those of you that don’t know their women’s team know about heart break, they have more losers medals than some clubs have trophies, the amount of times they have been to the Champions League final and lost!
Surely they would slip up again? Not that they need them to as Barça are on fire right?… So much better, right?
Well on paper that’s all true, but it’s the pitch is where you play & you see this defeat was hard to take as, they were so much better than them, chance after chance and yet no goals to show for it.
Semifinals for those of you that don’t know back then were two leg events, so you play each other twice, so the first game there were no goals, 0,0. The second leg Wolfsburg to my shock beat them 1,0.
Everything was right, the players, the coach, the selection, what has happened? Well 2020 hit hard, we had lost the flow of the 21 match unbeaten run, it will only be what if… but that will drive you crazy and should be left in the past.
Also, we could not score, the keeper had a good night, but they also had shocking misses over the two legs, it was very annoying to watch to be fair.
Also, Martens our star player in 2019 suffered a toe injury and in 2020 never really got going, she was not fit and only played a few mins before the game was over.
Also, the team was almost right I forgot, another crazy choice which I still don’t understand why was one of our star strikers Jennie Hermoso playing as a CM!? We had Bonmati, yet she was on the bench and no patri either.. I think his lack of exp was showing again.
But the main thing that was missing from this was the belief, when it came to this cup they had never won it before.. Also, this team did not believe when they faced issues of not scoring that they could win, looking back on it you can see it now.
You can know lots and have the skill and the right team, but if the mind is not right it means nothing! There were lots of tears from the players, but when thing that stuck in my mind after the semifinals was what they were saying after the game.
All the players and the coach believed that they knew where they went wrong and vowed next year we will reach the Champions League final and win it, it’s like all the tears was the disbelief and then after they cried they looked like they was going to take over football & I believed in each and every one of them!
2020/2021 One Night In Gothenburg
As you know they won the treble already, before we head to Gothenburg (Sweden) You should know how much work and effort these ladies put in.
In a short space of time, the team transformed into a beast!
They did double sessions, worked so hard during their off time in the summer.. Became closer as teammates, the media had written them off, but I knew that from that last defeat to Wolfsburg, this was going to be Barças year no doubt & they would win the lot!
Going into the final they had already won the La liga before it had ended, but so did Chelsea and this was meant to be a real tough game, as Chelsea were for sure the best team in England at that point, was on great form…
So what makes this even more wild is that this was a harder game than the other too, Lyon then was better than Chelsea now but the flow of Chelsea was better heading into this final, so this Chelsea team would have beaten Lyon who did not play that well when they beat us.. Even though they thrashed us, lol.
If we turned up any less than our best we would get smoked for sure, everybody outside of Spain thought Chelsea was going to win, but we knew otherwise.. I just never expected the belief would be so big that we would do what we did to them though, LMAO!
It’s like everything came together, and we beat them 4,0! Made them look like easy work & it was a proud moment as it showed when you believe what you can really do, all the skill in the world and now put to good use as the mindset changed.. Even the coach felt more assured of himself now, it was a great game to watch.
The whole team played well, the right team, the game plan was solid & we believed, and they showed it in action from start to finish… they killed them!
From Martens setting things up lit from the gate by attacking Chelsea as soon as the whistle went to start the game and forcing an own goal, from her fantastic play… Which lead to an own goal by Chelsea.
To The ice-cold veins of Alexia Putellas who scored a penalty/had her best time as a player this year & really stepped up as the leader of the group, I’m so happy for her.
To the young wonder girl Bonmati who got the MVP for the match (Even though Martens ran the whole show and set up the goals) Bonmati was also very good on the night and actually scored.
To finally Graham Hansen who they actually got from Wolfsburg, so she took so many L’s with them, got an L with us against her old club, had so many issues with confidence, to now tearing up Chelsea and getting a goal!
In a year in which the same could not be the said for the men’s team as they did bad again, due to B.S problems, as I’m sure a lot of you are aware of.
These Ladies showed in tough times, you can still have the right mindset, you can still give your best, you can still reach your goals and do anything you set your mind to.
Team work makes the dream work as they say, in a short amount of time your life can change all by making the switch in your mind, for your outlook.
So if you’re in a team or even if it’s just you, I hope you know that the tables can easily turn to your favour.. If Barça had given up after what happened last year, or the players decided to walk away, all this would not happen.
They may never of won it anytime soon, so if you’re reading this, don’t give up on you and keep faith with your team… Keep making improvements, keep eating what you know is healthy for you.
Keep drinking your water, keep sleeping good, and keep learning/applying. It was One Night In Gothenburg that I’ll never forget, but it’s also the few years of unity & belief that made them the number 1 team in Women’s football today!
Here are the highlights from the final below…
I really enjoyed sharing this with you guys.
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