"The whole team was on fire," Alex Popp told UEFA.com as she and other veterans of 2013 looked back ahead of another meeting of Wolfsburg and Lyon in the final.
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On 23 May 2013, Wolfsburg ended their first UEFA Women's Champions League campaign with a 1-0 victory against Lyon, who had been aiming for a third consecutive final win at Stamford Bridge.
Three years on, the teams meet again in Reggio Emilia on Thursday with Wolfsburg now able to match Lyon on three victories. UEFA.com hears from some of the key players that day in London ...
- The teams
Wolfsburg: Vetterlein; Wensing*, Henning, Hartmann, Popp*; Blässe*, Kessler, Goessling*, Müller; Jakabfi* (Magull 78), Pohlers (Omilade 82).
Coach: Ralf Kellermann*
Lyon: Bouhaddi*; Petit*, Georges, Renard*, Bompastor; Henry*, Necib*, Abily* (Le Sommer* 67); Thomis*, Schelin*, Rapinoe (Dickenmann 46, Majri 89).
Coach: Patrice Lair
(*in 2016 final squads – Lara Dickenmann is now at Wolfsburg)
- The game
Lyon had the better of the first half but Wolfsburg responded well and won it when Lauara Georges handled in the area and Martina Müller converted a 73rd-minute penalty. Lena Goessling was named player of the match.
- The memories
Alex Popp, Wolfsburg player
It was really crazy. For me personally, there was a question mark about whether I'd even be able to play, because I was injured. Luckily in the end I was able to play, though in a totally different position to the one I'd been playing in through the season; suddenly I was a left-back.
Ralf Kellermann, Wolfsburg coach
Lyon went into that game as the clear favourites, and we were unknowns in international football. I told my team back then that if we played Lyon ten times we would lose eight of them, draw one and maybe win one, and that today would be the day for us to accomplish that sensational achievement. And everything went completely according to plan.
Camille Abily, Lyon player
We lost 1-0 to a penalty. It was a tough penalty to concede, too, because it was an accidental handball.
The whole team was on fire. It was our first ever final, and it was against Lyon who were invincible at that time. But we really showed a lot of fight as a team, and we were able to lift the trophy thanks to that penalty, which was insane. I don't think anybody who was there, any friends or acquaintances who were in the stadium, will ever forget it. It was a huge highlight, and totally insane.
Louisa Necib, Lyon player
It's been a little while since we lost that final. It's true that at the time we had a lot of regrets, because we felt we'd done everything in that match. It was a game I really enjoyed, we'd put everything in place to win it, but it didn't work out. So, yes, at the time we were very disappointed and went away with a lot of regrets.
Nadine Kessler, Wolfsburg player
It is certainly something that stays in your memory. It had an incredibly important meaning for us, as it seemed to be an impossible mission beforehand. It is just a fantastic competition, and it was an unforgettable experience for us. We were the underdogs then; Lyon went there as clear favourites having been unbeaten up to then. Nobody really reckoned on us.
I know that Lyon underestimated us back then, they hadn't really prepared for us, and that will definitely be different now in 2016. Both teams will be as well prepared as possible. We're looking forward to a great final.