Following Lyon’s fifth Champions League title, VAVEL briefly spoke to player of the match Amandine Henry about her desire to keep winning.
Facing their third straight Champions League penalty shoot-out, in their second final without a goal in 90 minutes, Henry didn’t even let penalties cross her mind as the French champions readied themselves for extra time.
“No no no, I didn’t think about it because we had all the time to score.”
A natural winner who’s enjoyed success for the majority of her career, Henry’s first silverware came in her teens when Lyon did the domestic double in 2007-08, the midfielder’s trophy cabinet only growing over time. A ten-time league winner with Olympique, the French international can also boast six Coupe de France winners medals, [now] four Champions League winners medals as well as NWSL Shield and Championship silverware. Not always at her best in Portland as she dealt with injuries, the midfielder holds warm memories of her time with the Thorns, the novelty of winning silverware yet to diminish.
“It’s different when I was with the Thorns it was a great experience but winning the Champions League, it’s amazing and I enjoy every trophy.”
A brief spell with Paris Saint-Germain kept Henry fresh between returning from injury and relinking up with the Thorns, the 28-year-old having looked nothing by at home in the Lyon midfield since her return. Though her time with PSG was minimal it was still a useful part of her career, there is a sense that Henry is back where she belongs in Décines-Charpieu.
“PSG was a good experience too but Lyon is very special because they have good objectives and they continue to develop the women’s team all the time.”
A team that sets the standard in France that others struggle to keep up with, Les Fenottes come under fire for making a mockery of their home league, blowing smaller teams out of the water with an alarming frequency. Whilst it’s not ideal to have such disparity in any league, Lyon should hardly be blamed for wanting to cultivate the best team in the world.
The training sessions, Henry admits, can be more strenuous than some of their matches but week in, week out, it’s what prepares OL for the bigger games of the season.
“Yes, it’s easy but the practice is sometimes more difficult than the game but you know you have good players and you know if you want to play the big games you have to improve and you always have to be focused.”