Tuesday, October 19

The moment of truth for the female Barça

  • The Barça team faces its fourth Champions League semi-final in five years against PSG

  • Lluís Cortés’s team has the sensitive loss of Patri Guijarro in the center of the field

“There is no distance, there is no longer”, he repeated before the press Alexia putellas after the defeat of FC Barcelona in the last semifinal of the Champions League. The captain of the Paris saint germain, soon Barça, Irene Paredes, after seeing how the Lyon olympic games it left them without the final of Donostia. A year later, that message has taken shape to stop being mere words of comfort. A year later, women’s football is no longer the sport in which Lyon always win. “We had already anticipated that there was a change of era. And this is positive because opens the options to win the Champions League to other teams, but it is even more difficult to lift the apricot because there is not only a rival to beat“, analyzes the Barcelona coach, Lluís Cortés.

After defeating the great favorite of the competition and also snatching the first place in the French league, the Parisian team now faces (Sunday, 3:00 p.m., Esport3) one of the rollers of the old continent, Barcelona, ​​in search of giving the definitive leap and present his candidacy for the European throne.

An unprecedented champion

Because the competition will have an unprecedented winner and it can be said that the Parisians, capable of eliminating the champion team of the last five editions, have the favorite poster hanging. However, in front of them there is a kind of mirror, a group that has also made disappointment their best weapon and that walks through their league with the same firm step as them. And the fact is that, if both teams have something in common, it is that the setbacks have made them better and that now that they have left the shadow of Lyon behind they are ready to dominate the world.

The Catalans are no longer the team that lost two consecutive seasons to the Parisian team. This is what one of his main assets believes in the center of the field. Kheira Hamraoui He was part of the French team when in 2016 and 2017 Barça said goodbye to the Champions League prematurely with defeats against PSG. Now it is clear that everything has been equalized. “We are not talking about the Barça of four years ago. Now I feel like my team is ready“.

He’s ready and he’s showing it. Because the azulgranas go on the way to his second consecutive league and with this, they will add their fourth Champions League semi-final in five years. But the whole of the French capital is also at its best. The Parisians, led by Irene Paredes, Sara Däbritz, Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Christiane Endler They are undefeated leaders in their league and have reached their second consecutive European semi-final. The data speaks for itself.

Barcelona steamroller

24 wins in 24 games. 125 goals for and only 5 conceded These are the numbers of Lluís Cortés’s roll at Primera Iberdrola. A roller that, however, has always resisted so much in the big events. Spent last year before him Wolfsburg in the semifinals and was about to be repeated before the Manchester city In rooms. Although if this team has something, it is that it learns from mistakes.

They turned the final lost to Lyon into the best of impulses. And they have already shown that their promise of improvement was well founded. “We have the technical and physical quality to overcome any rival, in the end it is about how we are mentally. We are a group of winners,” explains one of its leaders on the green, Caroline graham hansen.

Therefore, now that they have a tough nut to crack in front of them, they insist on the game again. “The most important thing is to defend with the ball. If we have the ball and we enjoy long possessions, it is difficult for them to mark us. It is also important to have the ball in the positions of the field where we can do damage and be ordered against losses,” asserts the Culé coach. With the Barça DNA as a flag and the most genuine tiqui-taca they want to lay the foundations of what would be the second final in the club’s history, the second in three years.

Although they are aware of the barriers. “PSG is a physical team, very athletic, fast and aggressive. We have to be aggressive in the pressure and be focused defensively, “summarizes Hamraoui. Cortés adds:” It will be important that each player wins the small battles against their brand. The tie will be decided by details. “Because Paris Saint Germain He also does not know what it is to lose this season and has only conceded two goals in domestic competition.. And because they face the challenge with sensitive low by Patri Guijarro in the center of the field by penalty.

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That they do arrive launched, with Jennifer Hermoso in ‘pichichi mode’ and with the awareness that history is in his hands. “We are calm, happy and excited because the challenge comes at the best moment of the season. What’s more, if we are better than PSG in something, it is in the closet. We are going to have players on the bench at all times willing to make a difference. “Europe already knows what they are playing at, now it wants to know if they are also forceful.

For this, Lluís Cortés relies on a team that in England showed how to suffer. With a team that when it did not find the way to goal, it knew how to defend. And that when things were going badly he looked towards the goal and found a Sandra Cloths decisive. The Princes Park awaits them. Facing them, three battles for European glory.


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