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Women's Champions League final, Barcelona vs Lyon: Beginners' guide

Barcelona against Lyon – date, time, TV coverage, VAR and more: all you need to know about the Bilbao final.


Bilbao's San Mamés is the venue as the UEFA Women's Champions League season ends on 25 May with Barcelona facing Lyon for the title.

Read our full guide to the biggest women's club fixture in the calendar.

Bilbao final: key info

When and where is the game?

The final will kick off at 18:00 CET on Saturday 25 May at San Mamés, Bilbao. It will be the third final in Spain; in 2010, the first one-off decider for the rebranded Women's Champions League was staged at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez, Madrid, and in 2020 the unique eight-team tournament which ended the COVID 19-disrupted season concluded at Anoeta Stadium, San Sebastián.

The 50,000-plus capacity home of Bilbao's Athletic Club was built on the site of the old San Mamés, replacing the 100-year-old arena of the same name in 2013. Athletic Club's women's team have played several games in the new stadium, attracting 48,121 fans for a 2019 cup tie against Atlético de Madrid, at the time a Spanish record.

In that eight-team 2020 Women's Champions League finals, San Mamés staged two last-eight ties (Barcelona beating Atlético 1-0 and Lyon defeating Bayern 2-1) and also one semi (OL winning 1-0 against Paris Saint-Germain).

Sum up the Barcelona vs Lyon final in a few sentences

Barcelona are through to their fourth final in a row, and fifth in six seasons, having lost 4-1 to Lyon in 2019 and 3-1 to the same opponents in 2022, but winning 4-0 against Chelsea in 2021 and rallying from 2-0 down to edge Wolfsburg 3-2 last year.

Lyon are now in their 11th final and their 2022 triumph was their eighth triumph, both records. In fact, both those tallies have come since the old UEFA Women's Cup was rebranded the UEFA Women's Champions League in 2009/10.

OL boast four wins out of four against Barcelona in Europe: both legs of a 2017/18 quarter-final as well as the 2019 and 2022 finals. Nevertheless, Barcelona have been the team to beat in the 2020s in the way that Lyon were in the 2010s, though that of course did not stop OL winning in Turin two years ago.

2022 final highlights: Barcelona 1-3 Lyon

How do I get ticketing information?

Ticketing information can be found via this link.

How can I watch?

Every game in this season's Women's Champions League from the group stage onwards has been broadcast live on streaming platform DAZN.

DAZN has removed its paywall to the largest portfolio of women's football worldwide, including the Women's Champions League.

Selected matches are also streamed free on DAZN's YouTube channel throughout the world, with the exception of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – where rights include clips and highlights – and China and its territories.

Any YouTube stream is also embedded in the UEFA.com MatchCentre and on UEFA.tv, with highlights to follow at midnight CET after the game.

How has the season worked?

For the third time, there was a 16-team home-and-away group stage. In all, 70 clubs took part from 49 nations, with more than 500,000 having attended games throughout the season.

Who is the referee?

Rebecca Welch will referee the final
Rebecca Welch will referee the finalGetty Images

England's Rebecca Welch will referee the final. The 40-year-old was fourth official for the 2023 final and that December became the first woman to referee a men's English Premier League match.

Welch will be assisted by Natalie Aspinall and Emily Carney, with Sanja Rođak-Karšić acting as reserve assistant referee. The fourth official is Ivana Martinčić. The VAR role has been assigned to Stuart Attwell, and he will be accompanied by assistant Katrin Rafalski and support Katalin Kulcsár.

Is there VAR in the final?

There has been VAR in the final since 2020, and from 2021/22 that was expanded to the whole knockout phase.

2019 final highlights: Lyon 4-1 Barcelona

The teams

• Having grown in stature over the previous decade, Barcelona beat Chelsea 4-0 in the 2021 final in Gothenburg for Spain's first title, two years on from losing 4-1 in Budapest to Lyon, who in 2022 beat Barcelona 3-1 in Turin. Last season, Barça were champions again, coming back from two down at half-time to beat Wolfsburg 3-2 in Eindhoven, and they also went top of the UEFA rankings for the first time, ending Lyon's reign since 2018/19 (OL and Wolfsburg had shared top spot for more than a decade). The Catalan giants have now reached a fourth consecutive final and fifth in six years.

• Lyon are unquestionably this competition's historically dominant club. Their tally of eight titles is double that of their closest rivals and includes a run of five in a row between 2015/16 and 2019/20. They have qualified for their 11th final, all in the last 15 seasons, and hold pretty much every Women's Champions League club record going.

Country record

• Spain had never had a finalist before Barcelona in 2019. Thanks in no small part to the Blaugrana, Spain is now third in the UEFA women's association ranking – which means an automatic group stage place for the national champions – and is challenging Germany for second.

• This is the 12th of the 23 finals to feature at least one French club, all coming since 2010. Lyon have won eight titles and been runners-up twice, their record ten finals so far bolstered by Paris Saint-Germain's two (including the 2017 decider, when the French rivals met in Cardiff). Victory for OL would mean France equalling Germany's record of nine European crowns. France already has a clear lead in the association rankings.

Road to Bilbao

• Aiming for a second straight title, and a fourth final in a row, Barcelona cruised through their group in familiar style, top scorers once again and only dropping points at Benfica on Matchday 6 with first place already secured. Barça then overcame a tenacious Brann side in the quarter-finals, and after their 25-game unbeaten run at home in Europe was ended 1-0 by Chelsea in the semis, they came back superbly with a 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge.

Barcelona's road to the final: Every goal

• Lyon lost 5-1 at home to Arsenal on Matchday 1 last season but started with an even more emphatic away win this time around, defeating Slavia Praha 9-0 before progressing comfortably. After battling back to beat Benfica 2-1 in their quarter-final opener, they were pushed hard in the return until two added-time goals by Kadidiatou Diani gave the scoreline a more comfortable look. They faced Diani's former club in the semis and recovered from 2-0 down to win the first leg 3-2 in the last ten minutes. They then won 2-1 at the Parc des Princes, exactly matching their two results against Paris in the 2021/22 semis ahead of their final victory against Barcelona.

Star forward

• Barcelona have no shortage of goalscoring threats, including Salma Paralluelo, who boasts six strikes in the Champions League this season. Even more impressively, Caroline Graham Hansen has, if anything, raised her level this season, as if there were much further to go. She has five goals and as many assists in the Champions League (and many more of both domestically), and the sheer variety of danger she poses to defences makes her impossible to contain on her day.

• Kadidiatou Diani switched from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer after her most prolific season in the capital. The 29-year-old hit the ground running at the home of her former rivals, leading the way in the Champions League with eight goals. Diani combined well with Ada Hegerberg earlier in the season, but she continued to shine since in Norwegian's recent injury absence, bolstered by the return out wide of Delphine Cascarino.

Lyon's eight Women's Champions League titles

Midfield maestra

• Aitana Bonmatí has been monopolising individual awards of late and with good reason, as she showed with her semi-final display at Stamford Bridge (among many others). Five goals and six assists in the Champions League this season have set the wide midfielder on course for another career final, though she deserves praise too for fulfilling her defensive duties alongside Patri Guijarro and Keira Walsh.

• Lindsey Horan has been charged with holding the Lyon midfield this season and her experience and tactical awareness have been key to Sonia Bompastor's system in 2023/24. The United States international, another former Paris player, joined permanently in the summer after a previous loan from Portland Thorns, and having scored over 100 career goals, she has continued to chip in despite her deeper role.

Stalwart stopper

• Mapi León's injury has rendered Irene Paredes's presence in central defence even more important, and the former Paris stopper has performed with typical assurance alongside Ingrid Engen and between full-backs including Lucy Bronze, Fridolina Rolfö and summer arrival Ona Batlle.

• There are few appearance records in this competition not held by Lyon captain Wendie Renard, part of all ten of their previous finals and, of course, a threat at the other end from set pieces in addition to her defensive acumen.

2023 Women's Champions League final highlights: Barcelona 3-2 Wolfsburg

The goalkeeper

• Cata Coll shot to prominence during the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, when she was promoted to a starting berth for Spain and ended up helping them to victory. Similarly, she has taken over from Sandra Paños between the posts for Barcelona as this season has unfolded.

• Christiane Endler is yet another player to have made the switch from Paris to Lyon, the Chile No1 already considered perhaps the world's best when she moved in 2021 and only enhancing her reputation ever since.

The coaches

• Jonatan Giráldez, the former assistant to Lluís Cortés, replaced the Women's Champions League-winning coach in summer 2021 and has kept them on top, making up for losing the 2022 final to Lyon with that dramatic 2023 comeback against Wolfsburg in Eindhoven. He will leave for Washington Spirit after this season having equalled a competition record by reaching three consecutive finals as a coach.

• Sonia Bompastor had a magnificent playing career, not least for Lyon, whom she captained to Champions League success in 2010/11 and 2011/12. After retiring as a player in 2013, she worked her way up the OL coaching ranks before taking charge in 2021. The victory against Giráldez's Barcelona in Turin the following year made Bompastor the first person to win this competition as both a player and coach.

Lyon's road to the final: Every goal

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