Vicky Losada: ‘Every single player in my Barcelona team is a winner’ | Women’s Champions League


Vicky Losada lives and breathes Barcelona and stands one game away from winning the biggest prize with her childhood club when they play Chelsea in the Champions League final on Sunday. Losada joined Barcelona at 14 and started in the first division two years later, her 14 years at the club punctured by spells at Espanyol, Western New York Flash and Arsenal. She could “talk for hours, days” about the changes she has seen at the club but the key is constant improvement. “We haven’t lost a year; we haven’t made that step back ever. I think that’s very important.”

This season everything has clicked, Barcelona have the balance of new players and academy products and are playing a style of football synonymous with the club. They clinched the league title last Sunday with five games to spare: Played 26, won 26, scored 128 goals, conceded five.

“Every single player in my team is a winner,” says Losada. “In every single training session there’s a fight because nobody wants to lose. These things make the results that we are achieving this year.”

That said, it may seem strange but Barcelona were disappointed when Paris Saint-Germain knocked the holders, Lyon, out of the competition at the quarter-final stage. “We really wanted to play Lyon because for the players that were there in 2019 it was very painful and we’ve learned from that,” says the midfielder. “You are made from the experiences you have in your career. We’re more ready, if that happens in the first minutes, we’re ready to control the game.”

Losada is referring to the 2019 final when the Norwegian forward Ada Hegerberg scored a 16-minute hat-trick to stun the Catalan club, who would lose their first final 4-1. It is a testament to the rapid growth at Barcelona, and in Spain generally, that now they do seem ready – and capable – of beating any team in Europe.

“We were a different team in 2019, the league was also a different league, we were a very young team. Lyon had much more experience in those kind of games than us. We learned from that day. Right after the game, at the airport, we spoke with the manager and we told him we wanted to train more, we wanted to spend more hours training, we wanted to do everything that was in our hands to be better. Now we are a completely different team and you can feel that in the environment, you can feel it in the players, in the dressing room. Now we are ready to go for the final.”

Manchester City’s Caroline Weir is challenged by Losada during the second leg of their Champions Leaguw quarter-final.
Manchester City’s Caroline Weir is challenged by Losada during the second leg of their Champions Leaguw quarter-final. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

It has been 14 years since a team from outside Germany or France won the Champions League and, with Chelsea and Barcelona in the final, there will be a new name on the trophy. The impact of a win, in both countries, would be huge for the development of the game.

“It’s massive,” says the 30-year-old midfielder. “It’s the same when your country qualifies for a World Cup or Euros, these massive opportunities are the ones that have an impact on the game. Women’s football is growing but it’s growing slowly after the pandemic, even slower.

“Now that teams are professional, half of the league is professional and every time you make a big change like this more girls want to play and they start playing football even younger. I am sure that, if we win the Champions League, that’s going to have a massive impact.”

Quick Guide

Women’s Champions League final: meet the teams

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BARCELONA
Sandra Paños

Joined Barcelona in 2015 and represented Spain at the 2019 and 2015 World Cups. Adept with the ball at her feet.

Marta Torrejón
Spain’s most capped player retired from international football after the 2019 World Cup. Made her league debut at 14 for Espanyol.

Andrea Pereira
Joined Barça from rivals Atlético Madrid and has won two league titles at each. Comfortable with both feet.

Mapi León
Swapped Atlético for Barça for a €50,000 fee, the first paid transfer in Spanish women’s football history.

Leila Ouahabi
The La Maisa product performed well in Spain’s last-16 narrow 2-1 defeat to USA at the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

Aitana Bonmatí
Catalan women’s player of the year in 2019, at youth level, Bonmati won two Euros, at under-17 in 2015 and under-19 level in 2017.
Patri Guijarro
The 22-year-old has played 82 times for Barça and won the golden ball and boot a the U19 Euros in 2017 and the U20 World Cup in 2018. 
Alexia Putellas
In 2019 Putellas was Barca’s scorer with 16 league goals and 18 overall as Barça reached a first Women’s Champions League final.

Caroline Graham Hansen
The Norwegian joined from Wolfsburg in 2019 where she won a domestic double three seasons in a row. 
Jenni Hermoso
Has scored 114 goals in 123 games for Barcelona in two separate spells at the club either side of seasons at PSG and Atlético.
Lieke Martens
Won the Fifa Best women’s player and European player of the year awards in 2017 for her three goals in the Netherlands’ Euro 2017 win. 

CHELSEA
Ann-Katrin Berger

Despite playing for top teams in Germany, France and England, Berger has just two international caps.
Niamh Charles
The 21-year-old joined from relegated Liverpool at the end of last season and has excelled when filling in for injured Maren Mjelde.

Millie Bright
Has played 91 times for Chelsea and was named in the Fifa Fifpro World XI for 2020. 
Magda Eriksson
Was named captain in 2019 having joined from Swedish side Linköpings in 2017. Made her 100th appearance in December.

Jess Carter
Has made 12 starts for Chelsea since joining from Birmingham in 2018 but has been essential towards the end of the current campaign.

Sophie Ingle
Has 104 caps for Wales. Her long-range strike against Arsenal last year was nominated for the
Fifa Puskas Award.

Melanie Leupolz
Former Bayern Munich captain joined in the summer. Has 70 caps for Germany and has scored 11 goals for her country.

Ji So-yun
The South Korean joined in 2013 and has won four WSL titles, two FA Cups and two League Cups at Chelsea.

Fran Kirby
Expected to scoop every domestic individual award for her incredible form on return after suffering from pericarditis last season.

Pernille Harder
The European player of the year joined from Wolfsburg in the summer and has twice finished as a Women’s Champion League runner up.

Sam Kerr
Finished WSL top-scorer this season, added to five leading goalscorer awards collected in the United States and Australia.

Losada is aware this raises expectations but does not see it as “extra pressure”, adding: “I think it’s a nice responsibility that the team wants to have and we are ready. When you know you’re ready and you’ve worked and you’ve done your job every day it’s a moment to enjoy, it’s a moment to believe in our style in our game and in our players.”

It is not just the football that the Spain international loves. It is the club’s ethos that has kept her connected to the wider world. Losada is involved in the Barça Foundation’s bullying prevention programme that has worked with more than 160,000 children in Catalonia since 2017.

“I wanted to be part of it,” she says. “As a footballer you are in a bubble and you don’t realise about what’s going on in life, really. You don’t have time, you’re travelling every three days and then you kind of come back down to earth, put your feet on the floor. I realised how important we can be and the massive impact we can have in society.”

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That connection to community is important. “We can’t lose that, ever. The ones that have been here for many, many years are the ones that have the responsibility to tell new players how this club works, all the work that’s been done over a lot of years.”

Now they have a chance to extend their strength and influence by taking Barcelona’s women’s team to the next level. “It would be a dream come true. I want to win a Champions League. I’ve won everything with this club. I started here when I was a little girl. It’s a massive chance and we have to take it.”



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