Exclusive: France vice-Captain and Olympique Lyonnais superstar Eugénie Le Sommer on defending UEFA Champions League crown, hails Jean-Luc Vasseur

French powerhouse Olympique Lyonnais triumphantly claimed a historic treble last season courtesy of momentously winning Division 1 Féminine, the Coupe de France Féminine and the prestigious UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Olympique Lyonnais sealed their fourth consecutive UEFA Women’s Champions League title in a row in 2018/2019, their sixth UEFA Champions League title in history, whereas Jean-Luc Vasseur’s ever-dominant and ruthless side meanwhile have won the Coupe de France Feminine an unprecedented seven times since 2012 (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019), whilst winning their 13th consecutive Division 1 Feminine title in a row. Furthermore, the ever-imposing Les Fenottes additionally won the 2019 International Champions Cup to underscore a banner year.

Olympique Lyonnais, showcasing preeminent international stars, such as, Lucy Bronze, Wendie Renard, Amandine Henry, Shanice van de Sanden, Eugénie Le Sommer, Ada Hegerberg, Dzsenifer Marozsán to name just a few, remain highly regarded as the elite quintessential contemporary model of women’s professional football clubs worldwide, a sterling testament to the mighty French giants progressiveness and innate vision in further advancing the women’s game and profile globally. The successful French powerhouse signed England star, Nikita Parris, this summer from FA Women’s Super League titans Manchester City to add further skilled directness and blistering pace to their already imposing attacking impetus; Parris played a pivotal role in Phil Neville’s England Lionesses’ success at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Elsewhere, Olympique Lyonnais’ 2019/2020 Division 1 Féminine campaign officially kicked off on August 24 with a rampant 6-0 rout against Olympique de Marseille. In the French titans second Division 1 Feminine game of the new season, Les Fenottes defeated Stade Reims 8-3 on September 7  to remain undefeated in their opening two league encounters.

Olympique Lyonnais’ next seven 2019/2020 Division 1 Feminine games meanwhile are against: FC Fleury 91 (Home – September 15), Guingamp (Away – September 28), Paris FC (Home – October 12), Dijon (Away – October 19), Girondins de Bordeaux (Home – October 26), Montpellier (Away – November 2) and Paris Saint-Germain (Home – November 11).

FOX Sports Radio 96.9 FM/1340AM’s Dean Perretta briefly caught up with France and Olympique Lyonnais superstar, Eugénie Le Sommer, a four-time UEFA Women’s Player of the Year Award winner and two-time FIFA FIFPro World XI star, to discuss the France forward’s insatiable hunger for more major domestic and European trophies, coupled alongside Le Sommer touching on the philosophy of Jean-Luc Vasseur, as well as sharing her candid thoughts on France’s performances at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. 

Dean Perretta: Eugénie, what are the main expectations and ambitions this season for Olympique Lyonnais in Division 1 Féminine and the UEFA Women’s Champions League?

Eugénie Le Sommer: Like every season, the goal is to win all the competitions in which we are engaged – the Championship, the Champions Trophy, France Cup and the UEFA Champions League.

 

Dean Perretta: Olympique Lyonnais won the league by a five point margin ahead of the second placed Paris Saint-Germain last season. How important is it to intensify focus and not to let the gap to narrow between Olympique Lyonnais and PSG this term?

Eugénie Le Sommer: We want to continue to make history, win the championship and especially to leave nothing to PSG. It is also important to win our direct confrontations against PSG to show our national superiority. The championship may play a draw or a defeat, that is why we leave nothing to chance and we want to win every game!

 

Dean Perretta: Olympique Lyonnais also won the Coupe de France Feminine last season in a momentous treble winning season. However, can you share your thoughts on the philosophy and tactical mindset of Jean-Luc Vasseur?

Eugénie Le Sommer: He (Vasseur) communicates a lot (to players and technical staff). It brings a new look and new skills with the way it works. There is much in the exchange in dialogue with the players.

 

Dean Perretta: Regarding the France women’s national team during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019, can you share your opinion on the performances of the team in hindsight and how the national team has since inspired the entire country?

Eugénie Le Sommer: It was an incredible experience in human terms. I lived incredible emotions, I will remember this all my life. The audience was great from start to finish, it was magical. The whole country was behind us (throughout the tournament). However, in sport we could do better, we wanted to make the Quarter-finals but unfortunately we did not succeed (in the game against the United States at the Parc des Princes). We have not played our best football individually and collectively. And I must say, it’s a shame to have played the US for the Quarter-finals.

 

Dean Perretta: Finally, with the great success of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, what is the next step for women’s football in terms of maintaining and further growing its popularity?

Eugénie Le Sommer: We must ride the wave as they say! There was a popular extraordinary passion for the (2019 FIFA Women’s) World Cup and it has followed the media level as throughout France resonated to this competition. There was a significant increase in the number of licensees.

We must use this new awareness to improve the league, giving more resources to the clubs to develop.

Dean Perretta

Dean Perretta is a 2x SEA Award-winning creative, Broadcast Journalist, Reporter, Courtside Analyst for BBC televised London Lions and Executive Producer who currently contributes to FOX Sports Radio, FourFourTwo Magazine and Muscle & Fitness Magazine.