Putellas want revenge, year after failed Champions League final: ‘Been working on it ever since’
For the third time in three seasons, Alexia Putellas – 2021 and 2022 world soccer star – will face FC Barcelona in the final match of the Champions League. Two years ago she won final, but last season Barcelona was rolled up in Turin by Olympique Lyonnais (3-1), despite a goal from Putellas.
Saturday at 4 p.m., a chance to win the Champions League for the second time awaits her in Eindhoven against VfL Wolfsburg.
The goal against Lyon was one of Putellas’ last achievements before she tore her cruciate ligament. She missed a soccer season in which Barça made a big impression even without her. Real Madrid was no match in the Spanish league and the Champions League final was reached with conviction.
Barcelona made mincemeat of Benfica, FC Rosengård and AS Roma in a strong campaign. Only in the semifinals did coach Jonatan Giráldez’s team struggle, but Chelsea were also eventually defeated.
And now, on the eve of the final at the Philips Stadium, mainstay Putellas is also back. “From the defeat in Turin against Lyon we have been working on being here. Tomorrow at 4 p.m. we all have to be there and play 100 percent in service to the team. We have to have the calm to play our own game against Wolfsburg,” the star player said.
“It is one of the best teams in Europe,” she said of the German squad of Dutch national team players Jill Roord, Dominique Janssen and Lynn Wilms. “They have a clear game plan and have top players.”
Putellas made her return to the squad in late April against Chelsea. In May, she played a handful of games and scored her first goal since her return in the lost El Clásico against Real Madrid.
“I’m physically completely ready for tomorrow. To reach my old top level I need time, the medical staff already told me. But I feel good and am grateful for that. Every moment I had to suffer through my injury now makes it worth standing here.”