The UEFA Women’s Champions League on June 3 will pit two of the game’s brightest stars against one another in Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas and Wolfsburg’s Alexandra Popp.
Both made returns for their respective clubs in the last few days. Popp had missed several matches with an Achilles injury but came back to score for Wolfsburg in her team’s 3-2 win against Arsenal in Monday’s Champions League semifinal.
Putellas made her first appearance since tearing her ACL last July in Barca’s 3-0 win over Sporting Huelva, which clinched their fourth straight Liga F title. Her team already had clinched its spot in the Champions League final.
So what can fans expect from the title matchup?
Barcelona and Wolfsburg last faced each other during the 2021-22 Champions League semifinals. Putellas and Barcelona won 5-3 on aggregate but lost to Olympique Lyonnais in the final.
Wolfsburg have made six Champions League final appearances, with their most recent coming in 2020. Only Lyon have made more appearances in the final, which makes this familiar territory for the German club. But Wolfsburg haven’t won the Champions League since 2014.
Barcelona, meanwhile, won the UWCL just two seasons ago, beating out English club Chelsea for the title in 2021.
While Popp and Putellas will be in sharper form by the June final, several other players also should feature heavily in this matchup.
Asisat Oshoala has been dominant for Barcelona this season, leading the team with 20 goals through 24 matches – a suitable follow-up to last season, when she led the team with 20 goals through 19 matches.
Midfielder Aitana Bonmati has helped to fill the hole left by Putellas, providing goal-scoring, playmaking and leadership inside the middle third. She’s leading the Champions League in assists, with seven through UWCL competition.
Popp has led Wolfsburg in scoring, with 14 goals through 17 matches despite missing several weeks due to injury. She’s followed by Ewa Pajor, who has 11 goals in 16 matches as well as seven assists. She ties Popp for a team-high 18 points.
Pajor has been the top scorer in Champions League competition, notching eight goals so far.
Top scorer ⚽Top Player 😎Ewa Pajor continues to lead the #UWCLTopScorer charts with eight goals this season.#UWCL // @VfL_Frauen pic.twitter.com/K7jaBcWTQ2— UEFA Women’s Champions League (@UWCL) May 2, 2023
Top scorer ⚽Top Player 😎Ewa Pajor continues to lead the #UWCLTopScorer charts with eight goals this season.#UWCL // @VfL_Frauen pic.twitter.com/K7jaBcWTQ2