1. FFC Frankfurt won, but who were the individuals, clubs and themes that stood out in the competition's 14th season? Women's football reporter Paul Saffer selects ten.
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It took 109 games, 437 goals and plenty of drama, elation and heartbreak to crown 1. FFC Frankfurt as UEFA Women’s Champions League winners, clinching their fourth European title with a last-gasp strike against Paris Saint-Germain in Berlin. UEFA.com reporter Paul Saffer picks out ten individuals, clubs and themes that stood out in the competition's 14th season.
1 Mandy Islacker (1. FFC Frankfurt)
When picking out the potential hero of the final, not many looked to the diminutive forward signed last summer from relegated BV Cloppenberg. But she was a lively presence after her 66th-minute introduction, and in added time Islacker brilliantly swivelled to guide in a half-volley and seal the final for Frankfurt. "It means a lot because I haven't won any trophies in my career so far," the 26-year-old told UEFA.com.
2 Célia Šašić (1. FFC Frankfurt)
Islacker's Frankfurt room-mate Šašić was expected to shine in the final, and the striker's 32rd-minute header against Paris was her 14th goal of the campaign, equalling the record in her debut European season. Player of the match in the final, Šašić got an amazing seven over two legs against Brøndby IF in the semis and is tipped by many to be the star of the FIFA Women's World Cup next month as she spearheads Germany's bid.
3 Colin Bell (1. FFC Frankfurt)
Not the most famous Colin Bell in English football – that is the former Manchester City FC player – but this one is now the first from his nation to coach a winning team in a UEFA Champions League for men or women. Once a Leicester City FC trainee, Bell's playing and coaching career has been in Germany, Jürgen Klopp among former colleagues and Lukas Podolski a one-time under-14 charge. Appointed by Frankfurt in 2013, Bell's tactical nous was shown by the sweeper system he adopted for the final that superbly neutered Paris's attacking game.
4 Sabrina Delannoy (Paris Saint-Germain)
The Paris captain has been with the club since 2005, seven years before they turned professional and began to bring in big-name international stars. Delannoy continues to hold the defence together and, up until added time, she and Annike Krahn did a superb job against Frankfurt. But then Paris had already ousted the two teams who between them won the previous four editions, VfL Wolfsburg (against who Delannoy scored) and Olympique Lyonnais, a strong defence the key.
5 Brøndby IF
It did not work out for them in the semis against Frankfurt but after eight years their wait for a third last-four appearance was ended. And they did it the entertaining way, edging Apollon LFC in extra time in the round of 32 and battling hard to surprise Linköpings IF in the quarter-finals. Danish clubs were early pioneers in this competition and a long run like this was well overdue.
6 Martina Müller (VfL Wolfsburg)
The scorer of the winners in the 2013 and 2014 finals, Müller was not able to complete a hat-trick in her last European campaign but still made a mark. Her 71st-minute goal in the semi-final second leg at Paris so nearly sparked an unlikely comeback, and her equaliser against Frankfurt on the last day of the domestic season earned Wolfsburg second place and a European return. It will be without the retired former German international but Müller, at Wolfsburg since their second division days in 2005/06, has written her name into competition history.
7 Bristol Academy WFC
It is not unusual for an English team to reach the quarter-finals – indeed one has in all 14 editions – but for Bristol to get to the last eight was a surprise. The only FA Women's Super League team not linked to a men's club, Bristol had lost the manager and core of the squad that finished second in 2013 to earn their European place, and indeed faced one of their former stars, Jessica Fishlock, in their last-eight loss to Frankfurt. But they showed true grit to knock out FC Barcelona in the round of 16, and gave their all versus Frankfurt.
8 Joanne Love (Glasgow City FC)
For the first time a Scottish team made the quarter-finals, and they did so with two dramatic victories, pipping KKPK Medyk Konin in extra time in the round of 32, then seeing off FC Zürich Frauen with a superb last-16 comeback. Love scored to start to Medyk recovery and her spectacular winner did for Zürich.
9 Ewa Pajor (KKPK Medyk Konin)
Like Glasgow, Medyk started in the qualifying round and it was Pajor, then 17, who scored the season's first goal early on against SFK 2000 Sarajevo. She was to get seven more in the competition, including one against Glasgow, to end joint third in the scorers' table, and the star of Poland's unlikely 2013 UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship win is on the radar of Wolfsburg.
10 The season to come
The 2015/16 season is looking to be even more competitive than the one just gone, and that was the toughest to date. Frankfurt's victory, coupled with their third-place Frauen Bundesliga finish, means Germany has three entrants – the holders, Wolfsburg and champions FC Bayern München. Lyon and Paris look set to have even stronger squads than in 2014/15, while Swedish champions FC Rosengård will again be spearheaded by Marta. Chelsea LFC make their European bow and the current English leaders are also expected to make summer signings to further improve their impressive team.